Being from Non-being ?

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Mutorc S'yriah's picture
In our current stage of

@ spiritedone05

where did the universe come from?


In our current stage of knowledge, nobody knows where the universe came from, and I am not even sure that the question makes sense. How do you know that it came from anywhere?

It is best not to state something as a fact, when it cannot be demonstrated to be true.


Simon Moon's picture
Being cannot come from non

Being cannot come from non-being.
Since we exist, then being has always been in one form or another.
Since the universe had a beginning, a non-physical being must have existed beyond the universe, causing the universe into existence.
That being is God.

The local presentation of the universe that we experience, expanded at the big bang.

But that does not mean the universe could not have existed in some other form, before the big bang.

The universe did not come from nonbeing, it came from whatever form the universe was in before the expansion.

Sheldon's picture


Looks like another drive by has shot his wad and left, after a string of unevidenced assumptions and logical fallacies, and without even the pretence of any objective evidence or offering any cogent answers for his blind belief.

spiritmessenger05's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

no its not a drive by im just busy that's all

Sheldon's picture


@ Sheldon

no its not a drive by im just busy that's all

It's remarkable that almost every single religious apologist who breezes through her peddling unevidenced superstition is "too busy" to justify their claims with any objective evidence, or even acknowledge their rhetoric is based on known logical fallacies. The usual MO is a few weeks of the most shameful evasion and duplicity, while they preach their beliefs to a forum of atheists.

Here's a clue, if you have the time to tell us you're too busy to acknowledge the refutations of your claims, whilst making more claims, or repeating them, then you're not too busy at all.

You came here to seek us out, I suggest the very least you owe us is the courtesy to acknowledge the responses, and not with some fatuous repetitive rhetoric like "are you certain about that" being posted ad nauseam.

spiritmessenger05's picture
@ Mutorc

@ Mutorc

how ever u wanna put it, made, came from etc.
do you agree that life cant come from non-life, intelligence cant come from non-intelligence, every cause has an effect (newtons 3rd law)
every law has a law giver?

algebe's picture
@spiritedone05: do you agree

@spiritedone05: do you agree that life cant come from non-life, intelligence cant come from non-intelligence, every cause has an effect (newtons 3rd law)

Life has evidently come from non-life at least once on this planet, which started out as a lifeless ball of super-hot molten rock but has since acquired a rich and complex biosphere.

Intelligence from non-intelligence is also self-evident. We are all descended from single-cell microbes with very limited intellectual capacity. We are also witnessing the birth of artificial intelligence through technological advances that may eventually produce silicon-based lifeforms from non-living materials.

Newton's laws work fine in the world of discrete objects that we perceive through our senses. However, they do not apply on the quantum level, which forms the basis of reality.

Nyarlathotep's picture
spiritedone05 - ...every

spiritedone05 - ...every cause has an effect (newtons 3rd law)...

That isn't Newton's 3rd law of motion.

Sheldon's picture

"do you agree that life cant come from non-life, "

No, you'd need to demonstrate objective evidence for your claim first. I know life exists, I know natural phenomena exist, these are objective facts. So far you've failed to demonstrate a shred of objective evidence for anything else.

"intelligence cant come from non-intelligence, "

Yes it clearly can, species evolution evidences this as an objective fact.

"every cause has an effect (newtons 3rd law)"

Nope that's not Newton's 3rd law. You are so out of your depth it's hilarious. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction is Newton's 3rd law.

"every law has a law giver?"

Demonstrate some objective evidence for even one example of a law not created by humans? And yes, that includes scientific laws which were demonstrable created by humans.

spiritmessenger05's picture
people lets engage in a civil

people lets engage in a civil peaceful discussion and not resort to personal attacks despite our differences!! we all have freedom of speech, freedom to believe what we believe!! lets keep it that way.

algebe's picture
@spiritedone05: we all have

@spiritedone05: we all have freedom of speech, freedom to believe what we believe!!

Indeed. Freedom of speech and belief is a valuable right that was won at great cost by generations of brave people battling to curb the powers of the Church. When the Christian church had real power, people were murdered horribly, not just for not believing, but for believing the wrong way. Atheists as a rule don't care what you say or believe. You may get some forthright responses to your utterances here, but you won't find the door slammed in your face for dissenting views, as happens on most Christian sites.

watchman's picture
@spiritdone05 …..

@spiritdone05 …..

"people lets engage in a civil peaceful discussion ……."

“I'll tell you what you did with Atheists for about 1500 years.

You outlawed them from the universities or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy.

You dehumanised them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, imprisoned them, stabbed them, disembowelled them, hanged them, burnt them alive.

And you have nerve enough to complain to me that I laugh at you.”

― Dr Madalyn Murray O'Hair

Sheldon's picture


So spiritedone05 is too busy to acknowledge the refutations of his irrational arguments, or offer any objective evidence.

Yet has time to demand respect for himself and offer more turgid vapid religious cliches like the asinine and meaningless tautology "laws require a law giver," another begging the question fallacy btw, not that he'll care, or even have the integrity to acknowledge this fact.

Same old nonsense apologetics that amount to little more than preaching at us.

Now once again spiritedone05, can you demonstrate any objective evidence for a deity?

Do you acknowledge you OP argument is based on two known logical fallacies?

Do you understand this makes that argument irrational by definition?

Do you accept objective scientific fact like species evolution through natural selection?

Those will do to start, and since we've all done you the courtesy of responding to your posts, even though it's the same trite fallacious rhetoric we've answered thousands of times before, and you could just have googled the objections to it, will you ever do us the courtesy of a cogent response to our posts?

You claimed all laws require a law giver. Could you demonstrate some objective evidence for any law being created by anything other than a human? Scientific laws are of course human creations and merely how we try to understand entirely natural processes.

So you are trying to use this tired old cliche to add a supernatural cause, and without providing either objective evidence or any explanation. Do you know what Occam's razor states, and what it means for your tautology about a law giver? Are you honest enough to find out, and accept that it is just a vapid piece of rhetoric that apologists teach their students?

Sheldon's picture
Sun, 12/15/2019 - 18:48

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 18:48



The proof of God is the impossibility of the contrary!! without God we wouldn't exist

Two claims, not one shred of evidence, or even a rational argument presented to justify them.

Hitchens razor applied, and in the bin they go. Try that post sounds like preaching to me, and I don't care to be preached at thank you. This is a debate forum...I suggest you piss, or get off the pot. Endless unevidenced assertions are tedious.

Sheldon's picture


@ Mutorc S'yriah

where did the universe come from?

Where did your deity come from?

Calilasseia's picture
look around you, the unity of

look around you, the unity of the universe, the codification of physical things, houses don't build themselves intelligent beings build them just like an intelligent being created the universe.

Oh, no, not the fatuous and failed "design" assertion again ...

Time for this once more ...


It's apposite for me to address the entire "design" assertion here, not least for the purpose of ensuring that the usual apologetics on the subject are pre-empted.

Apart from the fact that evolutionary processes do not possess any intent, upon account of the absence of sentience thereof, part of the problem is that we, as creatures manifestly possessing intent, are naturally predisposed to project that intent upon our surroundings, even when said projection is misleading. This, of course, is the underlying driving force behind the entire supernaturalist "design" assertion, not to mention the entire supernaturalist enterprise itself - our tendency to erect metaphors grounded in our own intent to provide explanations for assorted observed phenomena. For that matter, you'll even see the same metaphor erected in some scientific papers, part of the problem being that those papers are addressed to an audience whose members know that this is simply a metaphor, erected for the convenience of our comprehension, but which sadly lends itself all to readily to duplicitous apologetic quote mining by the usual ideological stormtroopers for doctrine. But of course, scientists are usually too busy pushing ahead with their research, to worry about how their documentation thereof is likely to be subject to discoursive mischief.

From a rigorous standpoint, the word "design" is used in scientific papers, simply as a shorthand for any processes that produce a functioning entity, the understanding being, of course, that testable natural processes are perfectly capable of satisfying this remit. As long as that usage is understood, scientists see no reason why they cannot press that shorthand into service, not least for brevity. The trouble, of course, is that said shorthand is all too frequently subject to egregiously mendacious contortion by creationists. Consequently, it's time to revisit the business of flushing the entire supernaturalist "design" assertion down the toilet, not least because that assertion is accompanied by a brand of apologetics whose innate discoursive dishonesty, once exposed, is breathtaking to behold.

The first piece of dishonesty contained with the supernaturalist "design" assertion, centres upon that familiar supernaturalist tactic, the conflation of two entirely different meanings of a given word, and using this to try and present a mere assertion as established fact, a tactic that should be familiar by now to many here. When erecting the usual apologetics about "design", creationists in particular perform a discoursively criminal bait and switch with two entirely different concepts. The first of these is the concept they're trying to establish as purportedly constituting fact, which is properly and rigorously to be given its own term. That concept, namely supernatural magic design, is usually defined as the purposeful arrangement of parts, with perfect foreknowledge of the behaviour of those parts, both before and after integration. The assertion erected about the invisible magic man of their favourite mythology, is that said entity purportedly knew in advance what it wanted, and how to achieve that end result, an assertion that already looks shaky in the light of the hard evidence we have, that 99% of all species that have ever existed have become extinct. I'll use the acronym SMD to refer to this concept for brevity hereafter.

What happens, after erecting the SMD assertion (and of course, it remains merely an assertion), is that creationists then point to an entirely different set of "design" activities, namely those performed by humans, and assert that these design activities somehow provide evidence for SMD. But of course, human design activities (hereafter shortened to "HD") do nothing of the sort. Not least because, if one examines the entire history of HD, the idea that HD involves "perfect foreknowledge" is laughably absurd. Indeed, in the earliest days of HD, there was no foreknowledge at all! If you examine the earliest prototypes of many familiar technologies, and do so honestly, including the failures as well as the successes, then it becomes manifestly apparent that HD bears no resemblance to SMD at all. Indeed, Paley's own example of wrist watches is a case in point: the earliest attempts to produce one look nothing like the mature product we see today, a product that has benefitted from 350 years or more of trial and error, accompanied by refinement of antecedent models that were found to work sufficiently well for their desired purpose. Another classic example is provided by aircraft: take a look at these hilarious failures, and ask yourself, if any of these bear the stamp of "perfect foreknowledge":

Early Aircraft Failures - Video Link

It should be obvious at this point that the above comic collection of contraptions do nothing of the sort. But, of course, this is the second bait and switch creationists perform with their duplicitous "design" apologetics - they point to the mature products of technologies that have benefitted from one, two, three or even more centuries of past trial and error, and hold these up as supporting their first bait and switch, the attempt to establish the now manifestly false equation "SMD = HD". Of course, this blatant cherry-picking also neglects the fact that even mature technologies can produce failures - this being a case in point:

Air France 443 - Video Link

At this point, it should be apparent that HD, far from bearing any connection to SMD, consists of the following steps:

[1] Try something out;
[2] Discard the failures;
[3] Build upon the successes.

If anything, HD is far closer to evolution than to SMD! The one important difference being, of course, that evolution cannot simply throw everything into the bin and start all over again with a completely unrelated trial entity: evolution has to work with what it's produced before. Humans, on the other hand, can try something completely different, without having to cobble it together from ancestral parts. The transition from piston engines to jet engines in the world of aircraft propulsion is a case in point, but of course, modern jet engines, benefitting from 70 years of trial and error, then building upon the successes, are a fair way removed from Frank Whittle's original prototype.

Of course, an even greater irony centres upon the fact that in the present, scientists are now pressing evolutionary processes into service in the laboratory, in order to "design" entities of interest, and I have several interesting scientific papers covering this topic in my collection. In doing so, they're openly admitting that they don't possess "perfect foreknowledge", and indeed, don't possess any foreknowledge about what said experiments will produce! Needless to say, the evolutionary processes thus being harnessed also lack any foreknowledge, they simply go about the business of producing lots of variations, discarding the abject failures, and building upon the successes, in a manner not that far removed from our human ancestors. The very fact that evolutionary processes can be thus mechanised, pressed into service, and produce working products, should be telling anyone who pays attention honestly to the entire relevant data set, something very important. If, for example, evolutionary processes can produce a working spacecraft communications antenna, despite the simulation in question having no actual knowledge about these entities, merely a set of fitness conditions and test results, and I've presented the relevant paper elsewhere in the past, then the idea that a fantastic magic entity is needed to produce the biosphere, whose contents are effectively bags of chemical reagents with ideas above their station, should be a complete non-starter.

In short, if one understands how scientists use the word "design" as a metaphor, then under the terms of that metaphor, evolutionary processes constitute a perfectly adequate "designer", one that has been demonstrated to work. It may be bereft of foreknowledge, but it doesn't need any. All it needs, at bottom, is a source of variation, the ability for those variations to be inherited by descendants, and a set of conditions that differentiate "fail" from "success". That is it.

Indeed, the entire bait and switch deployed by duplicitous pedlars of apologetics, is not only dishonest for comparing two entirely different "design" activities, but is also dishonest because it mendaciously presses into apologetic service mature technologies benefiting from decades or centuries of trial and error, whilst omitting any reference to that long history of trial and error. A classic example, which I present here with delicious irony, is the very business of watchmaking, that formed the basis of the failed "Paley's Watchmaker" apologetics.

When one traces the history of watches, one finds again a process of gradual development involving trial and error. The first portable clocks were still far too big to be carried in a pocket, let alone worn upon a wrist, and the first such instances of these, back in the 15th century, only had an hour hand. The accuracy of these devices was so low that they were little more than expensive toys for rich people. It took finite time for watchmakers to learn, for example, that the force delivered by a mainspring is not a constant, and that some means of taking account of this had to be devised, and the first of these, a device known as a stackfreed, was abandoned after about 100 years because of the undesirable friction it introduced into the mechanism. The fusee, a different device, persisted for longer, but was eventually abandoned in the 19th century when a superior solution arose. The balance spring only appeared in 1657, and the first watches with a minute hand only appeared around 1680 as a result of the development of the balance spring. The verge escapement, which had been used in large pendulum driven clocks since the 13th century, was replaced by the cylinder escapement in 1695 - it took humans three hundred years or so to move on to this better idea. We had to wait until 1759 for the lever escapement, which, ironically, only made major inroads into Swiss watchmaking around 1900. We had to wait until 1923 for the first successful self-winding system, based upon converting the wearer's arm motion into rotary motion that kept the mainspring tension constant. The Incabloc shock protection system, to protect jewel bearings from critical failure stresses if the watch was dropped, wasn't invented until 1934. The first working electrically powered watches did not appear until 1957.

Once again, the history of watches is replete with trial and error, discarding of failures, and building upon successes. The development of the modern wrist watch bears more resemblance to an evolutionary process than to "magic design".

Finally, I have yet to encounter a supernaturalist, who even acknowledges the existence of the question I am about to present here, let alone demonstrates any attempt to provide an answer thereto. That question being, do you know what it takes, to convert the "design" assertion into something other than the product of your rectal passage?" Let's see if any supernaturalist can step up to the plate and provide a proper, rigorous answer to this question, without being spoon fed beforehand. Thus far, I have seen NO supernaturalist rise to this challenge, let alone succeed therein, and their own ideological presuppositions here constitute a major reason for that failure. Let's see if the supernaturalists here can break that precedent, shall we? A word to everyone else: if you know the answer, don't give clues, let the supernaturalists work this out for themselves.

As an illustration of the supernaturalist failure involved, I shall attach a little image to this post. This image depicts a large number of rocks. Just one of those rocks, is a "designed" artefact, namely, a Palaeolithic stone tool. NO supernaturalist I've presented this image to, has been able to identify correctly the "designed" rock, or provide cogent reasons for their choice. Let's see how long it takes supernaturalists to bail out of this challenge, shall we?


Attach Image/Video?: 

Calilasseia's picture
do you agree that life cant

do you agree that life cant come from non-life

No, and neither do hundreds, if not thousands, of researchers in the field of abiogenesis. Who have consistently demonstrated, time and again, that the chemical reactions they postulate to be implicated in the origin of life work. It's time for me to reintroduce this into the arena of discourse:

The Emergence Of Life On Earth

In the earliest period of the history of the planet, it was a body devoid of life, and conditions on the planet were far from conducive to the appearance of life, particularly during the episode termed "The Late Heavy Bombardment" [1] by scientists, which saw intense bolide impact activity taking place on the planet's surface. Once this episode, and subsequent episodes postulated to have taken place, were complete, the Earth cooled, a solid crust formed, and liquid water in quantity began to appear. Thus, the stage was set for the processes that were to result in the emergence of life.

It was Darwin himself who first speculated about the origins of life, with his short remarks about a "warm little pond" [2], but, in the middle of the 19th century, this would remain speculation, as the means to determine the mechanisms that might apply had not yet been developed. However, it made eminent sense to scientists following Darwin, to hypothesise that any natural mechanisms responsible for the origin of life would be based upon organic chemistry, since life itself is manifestly based thereupon - millions of organic reactions are taking place within your body as you read this, and indeed, the cessation of some of those reactions constitutes the end of life for any organisms affected. Alexander Oparin, the Soviet biochemist, was the first to publish hypotheses about the chemical basis of the origin of life [3], and based his own hypotheses on the notion that a reducing atmosphere existed on the primordial Earth, facilitating the production of various organic compounds that would then react further, producing a cascade of escalating complexity that would ultimately result in self-replicating entities. Back in 1924, his hypotheses remained beyond the remit of scientists to test, but that would soon change.

The first indications that Oparin had alighted upon workable ideas came in 1953, with the celebrated Miller-Urey Experiment [4], in which electrical discharges in a reducing atmosphere composed of simple molecules produced measurable quantities of amino acids. Miller himself only cited the presence of five amino acids, as he was reliant at the time upon paper chromatography as his primary analytical tool, which was only sensitive enough to detect those five amino acids cited. However, Miller had been more successful than he originally claimed: after his death, preserved samples of his original reaction mixtures were subject to state-of-the-art analysis, using gas chromatograph mass spectrometry, a technique millions of times more sensitive, and regarded as the 'gold standard' in modern organic analysis. That subsequent analysis yielded not five, but twenty-two amino acids [5].

Early criticism of Miller's work in the scientific community focused upon the requirement for a reducing atmosphere in accordance with the Oparin model. However, subsequent workers determined by repeat experimentation, that a range of atmospheric constitutions would be suitable for a Miller-Urey type synthesis on a prebiotic Earth [6], several of those constitutions being only mildly reducing, expanding the range of conditions for which the Oparin model would be viable. More recently, work has suggested that the prebiotic Earth could have developed an atmosphere containing considerably more hydrogen than originally thought [7], making the Oparin reducing atmosphere once again more plausible. Indeed, the range of conditions under which amino acids could be synthesised has since been expanded to include interstellar ice clouds, courtesy of more recent research [8 - 14], and the Murchison meteorite was found to contain no less than ninety amino acids, nineteen of which are found on Earth, which were obviously synthesised whilst that meteorite was still in space. Other data from meteorites adds to this body of evidence [10, 15, 16].

The formation of amino acids itself, whilst an important step in any naturalistic origin of life, would need to be accompanied by some means of linking those amino acids into peptide molecules [17] - the process by which proteins are formed. A significant step forward with respect to this, arose when researchers alighted upon the fact that carbonyl sulphide, a gas that is produced in quantity naturally by volcanoes, acts as a catalyst for the formation of peptides, increasing yields dramatically [18]. This would facilitate peptide formation not only in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, but in the vicinity of terrestrial volcanoes close to bodies of open water. Indeed, Miller had produced the 22 amino acids found in some of his reaction mixtures by extending the synthesis to include volcanic input, though not carbonyl sulphide - the addition of carbonyl sulphide would, however, facilitate peptide formation rapidly once the amino acids themselves were formed.

One additional problem to be overcome was the 'chirality problem'. Amino acids, with the exception of glycine, are chiral molecules, existing in two forms that are mirror images of each other in space (stereoisomers). Initially, methods for producing one form preferentially over another were something of a puzzle, but chemists working in an entirely different field established that a process called 'chiral catalysis' exists, indeed, this work led to a Nobel Prize for the researchers in question [19]. The demonstrated existence of working chiral catalysts [20] led abiogenesis researchers to seek such catalytic processes in their own field, and, in due course, these were alighted upon [15, 21- 24].

However, amino acids are not the only molecules required for life, important though they are. Some form of self-replicating molecule, providing the basis of an inheritance mechanism, is required. Given the difficulties involved in synthesising DNA as a total synthesis, researchers turned to RNA instead, a molecule that still forms the basis of the genomes of numerous extant taxonomic Families of viruses today. RNA, being easier to synthesise, was considered a natural first choice for the basis of primordial genomes, and thus, attention turned to the synthesis of RNA under prebiotic conditions. This was soon found not only to be possible, but to be readily achievable in the laboratory, and indeed, catalysis plays a role in these experiments. Natural clays formed from a mineral called montmorillonite provide a ready natural catalyst that would have been present in quantity on a prebiotic Earth, and the catalytic chemistry of RNA formation whilst adsorbed to such clays is now a standard part of the scientific literature [22- 42].

Having established that RNA was synthesisable under prebiotic conditions, researchers then turned to the matter of establishing the existence of self-replicating species of RNA molecules. This was duly successful [30, 43, 45 - 47], establishing that such species could have arisen among the extant RNA molecules being synthesised on a prebiotic Earth, and of course, once one self-replicating species exists, the process of evolution can begin, which has also since been demonstrated to apply to replicating RNAs in appropriate laboratory experiments [48].

Once a self-replicating molecule that can form the basis of an inheritance mechanism exists, the next stage scientists postulate to be required is encapsulation within some sort of selectively permeable membrane. The molecules of choice for these membrane are lipids, which have been demonstrated repeatedly in the laboratory to undergo spontaneous self-organisation into various structures, such as bilayer sheets, micelles and liposomes. Indeed, in the case of phospholipids, they can be stimulated to self-organise by the simple process of agitating the solution within which they are suspended - literally, shake the bottle [49 - 53]. Moreover, research has established that these lipids can encapsulate RNA molecules, and selectively admit the passage of base and sugar molecules to facilitate RNA replication [54, 55]. With the advent of this discovery in appropriate laboratory research, protocell formation is but a short step away, and indeed, the latest research is now actively concentrating upon the minimum components required in order for a viable, self-replicating protocell to exist. Prebiotic lipid formation is also a part of the repertoire of the literature in the field, and some papers now extant document the first experiments aimed at producing viable self-replicating protocells [55 - 70].

Whilst scientists naturally accept that 'joining the dots' between these individual steps is entirely proper, particularly on a body the size of a planet over a 100 million year period, the absence of experiments actively coupling these stages is a matter remaining to be addressed, though such experiments will be ambitious in scope indeed if they are to produce complete working protocells at the end of a long production line starting with a Miller-Urey synthesis. A 'grand synthesis' of this sort in the laboratory is not high on the scientific agenda at the moment, which is more concerned with validating the individual hypothesised steps, but once those steps are accepted as valid in the field, doubtless one day a 'grand synthesis' will be attempted, and the success thereof will establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions. Even so, no one conversant with the literature seriously considers any more that magical forces are required to produce life: just as vitalism was refuted by Wöhler's classic experiment, that gave rise to organic chemistry as an empirical science in the first place, so it is likely to be rendered ever more irrelevant in abiogenesis research, as the steps leading to life's blossoming on our planet are traversed and studied in ever greater detail.


[1] An apposite paper (among many) covering the Late Heavy Bombardment is:

Origin Of The Cataclysmic Late Heavy Bombardment Period Of The Terrestrial Planets by R. Gomes, H. F. Levison, K. Tsiganis and A. Morbidelli, Nature, 435: 466-469 (26th May 2005)

[2] Cited in The Life And Letters Of Charles Darwin, Including An Autobiographical Chapter, edited by Francis Darwin, 1887

[3] The Origin And Development Of Life by Alexander Oparin, 1924 (English translation: NASA TTF-488)

[4] A Production Of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions by Stanley L. Miller, Science, 117: 528-529 (15th May 1953)

[5] The Miller Volcanic Discharge Spark Experiment by Adam P. Johnson, H. James Cleaves, Jason P. Dworkin, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano and Jeffrey L. Bada, Science, 322:404 (17th Ocotber 2008)

[6] Amino Acid Synthesis From Hydrogen Cyanide Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions by J. Oró and S. S.Kamat, Nature, 190: 442-443 (1961)

[7] A Hydrogen Rich Early Earth Atmosphere by Feng Tian, Owen B. Toon, Alexander A. Pavlov and H. de Sterck, Science, 308: 1014-1017 (13th May 2005)

[8] A Rigorous Attempt To Verify Interstellar Glycine by I. E. Snyder, F. J. Lovas, J. M. Hollis, D. N. Friedel, P. R. Jewell, A. Remijan, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev and S. F. Dyubko, The Astrophysical Journal, 619(2): 914-930 (1st February 2005)

[9] Interstellar Glycine by Yi-Jehng Kuan, Steven B. Charnley, Hui-Chun Huang, Wei-Ling Tseng, and Zbigniew Kisiel, The Astrophysical Journal, 593: 848-867 (20th August 2003)

[10] Prebiotic Materials From On And Off The Early Earth by Max Bernstein, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

[11] Racemic Amino Acids From The Ultraviolet Photolysis Of Interstellar Ice Analogues by Max P. Bernstein, Jason P. Dworkin, Scott A. Sandford, George W. Copoper and Louis J. Allamandola, Nature, 416: 401-403

[12] A Combined Experimental And Theoretical Study On The Formation Of The Amino Acid Glycine And Its Isomer In Extraterrestrial Ices by Philip D. Holtom, Chris J. Bennett, Yoshihiro Osamura, Nigel J Mason and Ralf. I Kaiser, The Astrophysical Journal, 626: 940-952 (20th June 2005)

[13] The Lifetimes Of Nitriles (CN) And Acids (COOH) During Ultraviolet Photolysis And Their Survival In Space by Max P. Bernstein, Samantha F. M. Ashbourne, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola, The Astrophysical Journal, 601: 3650270 (20th January 2004)

[14] The Prebiotic Molecules Observed In The Interstellar Gas by P. Thaddeus, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (7th September 2006)

[15] Molecular Asymmetry In Extraterrestrial Chemistry: Insights From A Pristine Meteorite by Sandra Pizzarello, Yongsong Huang and Marcelo R. Alexandre, Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105(10): 3700-3704 (11th March 2008)

[16] Organic Compounds In Carbonaceous Meteorites by Mark A. Sephton, Natural Products Reports (Royal Society of Chemistry), 19: 292-311 (2002)

[17] Peptides By Activation Of Amino Acids With CO On (Ni,Fe)S Surfaces: Implications For The Origin Of Life by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächtershäuser, Science, 281: 670-672 (31st July 1998)

[18] Carbonyl Sulphide-Mediated Prebiotic Formation Of Peptides by Luke Leman, Leslie Orgel and M. Reza Ghadiri, Science, 306: 283-286 (8th October 2004)

[19] Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2001, was awarded to William S. Knowles, Ryoji Noyori and K. Barry Sharpless, for their work establishing the existence of asymmetric catalysts and chiral catalysis - see the Nobel Lecture by William S. Knowles [url=

[20] Homogeneous Catalysis In The Decomposition Of Diazo Compounds By Copper Chelates: Asymmetric Carbenoid Reactions by H. Nozaki, H. Takaya, S. Moriuti and R. Noyori, Tetrahedron, 24(9): 3655-2669 (1968)

[21] Prebiotic Amino Acids As Asymmetric Catalysts by Sandra Pizzarello and Arthur L. Weber, Science, 303: 1151 (20 February 2004)

[22] Homochiral Selection In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed And Uncatalysed Prebiotic Synthesis Of RNA by Prakash C. Joshi, Stefan Pitsch and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2497-2498 (2000) [DOI: 10.1039/b007444f]

[23] RNA-Directed Amino Acid Homochirality by J. Martyn Bailey, FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), 12: 503-507 (1998)

[24] Catalysis In Prebiotic Chemistry: Application To The Synthesis Of RNA Oligomers by James P. Ferris, Prakash C. Joshi, K-J Wang, S. Miyakawa and W. Huang, Advances in Space Research, 33: 100-105 (2004)

[25] Cations As Mediators Of The Adsorption Of Nucleic Acids On Clay Surfaces In Prebiotic Environments by Marco Franchi, James P. Ferris and Enzo Gallori, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 33: 1-16 (2003)

[26] Ligation Of The Hairpin Ribozyme In cis Induced By Freezing And Dehydration by Sergei A. Kazakov, Svetlana V. Balatskaya and Brian H. Johnston, The RNA Journal, 12: 446-456 (2006)

[27] Mineral Catalysis And Prebiotic Synthesis: Montmorillonite-Catalysed Formation Of RNA by James P. Ferris, Elements, 1: 145-149 (June 2005)

[28] Montmorillonite Catalysis Of 30-50 Mer Oligonucleotides: Laboratory Demonstration Of Potential Steps In The Origin Of The RNA World by James P. Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution of the biosphere, 32: 311-332 (2002)

[29] Montmorillonite Catalysis Of RNA Oligomer Formation In Aqueous Solution: A Model For The Prebiotic Formation Of RNA by James P. Ferris and Gözen Ertem, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 115: 12270-12275 (1993)

[30] Nucelotide Synthetase Ribozymes May Have Emerged First In The RNA World by Wentao Ma, Chunwu Yu, Wentao Zhang and Jiming Hu, The RNA Journal, 13: 2012-2019, 18th September 2007

[31] Prebiotic Chemistry And The Origin Of The RNA World by Leslie E. Orgel, Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 39: 99-123 (2004)

[32] Prebiotic Synthesis On Minerals: Bridging The Prebiotic And RNA Worlds by James P. Ferris, Biological Bulletin, 196: 311-314 (June 1999)

[33] RNA Catalysis In Model Protocell Vesicles by Irene A Chen, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and Jack W Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127: 13213-13219 (2005)

[34] RNA-Catalysed Nucleotide Synthesis by Peter J. Unrau and David P. Bartel, Nature, 395: 260-263 (17th September 1998)

[35] RNA-Catalyzed RNA Polymerization: Accurate and General RNA-Templated Primer Extension by Wendy K. Johnston, Peter J. Unrau, Michael S. Lawrence, Margaret E. Glasner and David P. Bartel, Science, 292: 1319-1325, 18th May 2001

[36] RNA-Directed Amino Acid Homochirality by J. Martyn Bailey, FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), 12: 503-507 (1998)

[37] RNA Evolution And The Origin Of Life by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature, 338: 217-224 (16th March 1989)

[38] Sequence- And Regio-Selectivity In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed Synthesis Of RNA by Gözen Ertem and James P. Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 30: 411-422 (2000)

[39] Synthesis Of 35-40 Mers Of RNA Oligomers From Unblocked Monomers. A Simple Approach To The RNA World by Wenhua Huang and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1458-1459 (2003)

[40] Synthesis Of Long Prebiotic Oligomers On Mineral Surfaces by James P. Ferris, Aubrey R. Hill Jr, Rihe Liu and Leslie E. Orgel, Nature, 381: 59-61 (2nd May 1996)

[41] The Antiquity Of RNA-Based Evolution by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature, 418: 214-221, 11th July 2002

[42] The Roads To And From The RNA World by Jason P. Dworkin, Antonio Lazcano and Stanley L. Miller, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 222: 127-134 (2003)

[43] A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme by Natasha Paul & Gerald F. Joyce, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 99(20): 12733-12740 (1st October 2002)

[44] Emergence Of A Replicating Species From An In Vitro RNA Evolution Reaction by Ronald R. Breaker and Gerald F. Joyce, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 91: 6093-6097 (June 1994)

[45] Ribozymes: Building The RNA World by Gerald F. Joyce, Current Biology, 6(8): 965-967, 1996

[46] Self-Sustained Replication Of An RNA Enzyme by Tracey A. Lincoln and Gerald F. Joyce, ScienceExpress, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167856 (8th January 2009)

[47] The Origin Of Replicators And Reproducers by Eörs Szathmáry, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

[48] Darwinian Evolution On A Chip by Brian M. Paegel and Gerald F. Joyce, Public Library of Science Biology, 6(4): e85 (April 2008)

[49] Formation Of Bimolecular Membranes From Lipid Monolayers And A Study Of Their Electrical Properties by M. Montal and P. Mueller, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 69(12): 3561-3566 (December 1972)

[50] Lipid Bilayer Fibres From Diastereomeric And Enantiomeric N-Octylaldonamides by Jürgen-Hinrich Fuhrhop, Peter Schneider, Egbert Boekema and Wolfgang Helfrich, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 110: 2861-2867 (1988)

[51] Molecular Dynamics Simulation Of The Formation, Structure, And Dynamics Of Small Phospholipid Vesicles by Siewert J. Marrink and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 125: 15233-15242 (2003)

[52] Simulation Of The Spontaneous Aggregation Of Phospholipids Into Bilayers by Siewert J. Marrink, Eric Lindahl, Olle Edholm and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 123: 8638-8639 (2001)

[53] The Lipid World by Daniel Segré, Dafna Ben-Eli, David W. Deamer and Doron Lancet, Origins of Life And Evolution of the Biosphere, 31: 119-145, 2001

[54] Replicating Vesicles As Models Of Primitive Cell Growth And Division by Martin M. Hanczyc and Jack W. Szostak, Current Opinion In Chemical Biology, 8: 660-664 (22nd October 2004)

[55] RNA Catalysis In Model Protocell Vesicles by Irene A Chen, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and Jack W Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127: 13213-13219 (2005)

[56] Coevolution Of Compositional Protocells And Their Environment by Barak Shenhav, Aia Oz and Doron Lancet, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1813-1819 (9th May 2007)

[57] Computational Models For The Formation Of Protocell Structures by Linglan Edwards, Yun Peng and James A. Reggia, Artificial Life, 4(1): 61-77 (1998)

[58] Coupled Growth And Division Of Model Protocell Membranes by Ting F. Zhu and Jack W. Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131: 5705-5713 (2009)

[59] Evolution And Self-Assembly Of Protocells by Ricard V. Solé, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 41: 274-284 (2009)

[60] Formation Of Protocell-Like Structures From Glycine And Formaldehyde In A Modified Sea Medium by Hiroshi Yanagawa and Fujio Egami, Proceedings of the Japan Academy, 53: 42-45 (12th January 1977)

[61] Formation Of Protocell-Like Vesicles In A Thermal Diffusion Column by Itay Budin, Raphael J. Bruckner and Jack W. Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131: 9628-9629 (2009)

[62] Generic Darwinian Selection In Catalytic Protocell Assemblies by Andreea Munteanu, Camille Stephan-Otto Attolini, Steen Rasmussen, Hans Ziock and Ricard V. Solé, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1847-1855 (2007)

[63] Kin Selection And Virulence In The Evolution Of Protocells And Parasites by Steven A. Frank, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Part B, 258: 153-161 (1994)

[64] Nutrient Uptake By Protocells: A Liposome Model System by Pierre-Alain Monnard and David W. Deamer, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 31: 147-155 (2001)

[65] Synchronisation Phenomena In Internal Reaction Models Of Protocells by Roberto Serra, Timoteo Carletti, Alessandro Filisetti and Irene Poli, Artificial life, 13: 123-128 (2007)

[66] Synchronisation Phenomena In Protocell Models by Alessandro Filisetti, Roberto Serra, Timoteo Carletti, Irene Poli and Marco Villani, Biophysical Reviews and Letters, 3(1-2): 325-342 (2008)

[67] Synthetic Protocell Biology: From Reproduction To Computation by Ricard V. Solé, Andreea Munteanu, Carlos Rodriguez-Caso and Javier Macia, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1727-1739 (October 2007)

[68] Template-Directed Synthesis Of A Genetic Polymer In A Model Protocell by Sheref S. Mansy, Jason P. Schrum, Mathangi Krisnamurthy, Sylvia Tobé, Douglas A. Treco and Jack W. Szostak, Nature, 454: 122-125 (4th June 2008)

[69] The Emergence Of Competition Between Model Protocells by Irene A Chen, Richard W. Roberts and Jack W. Szostak, Science, 305:1474-1476 (3rd September 2004)

[70] Thermostability Of Model Protocell Membranes by Sheref S. Mansy and Jack W. Szostak, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105(36): 13351-13355 (9th September 2008)

Since I wrote that original exposition, several thousand more scientific papers documenting relevant experiments have been published, and scientists researching in the field are now actively experimenting with model protocells constructed in the laboratory. You can find examples of the most recent research here, and learn about more successful investigations in the field.

Calilasseia's picture
where did the universe come

where did the universe come from?

You really do need spoon feeding with even the elementary facts here, don't you?

In anticipation of the tiresome "atheists think the universe came from nothing" canard being trotted out by our latest mythology fanboy, it's time for this to be revisited:

Item one. Atheists dispense with belief altogether. Instead, if they're contemplating a postulate properly, they ask "what evidence exists in support of this postulate?", and look to whichever discipline is supplying the evidence.

Item two. The people who REALLY think the universe came from "nothing", are those supernaturalists who think their imaginary magic man from their favourite mythology, waved his magic todger and poofed the universe into existence from nothing. So even before I move on to the next items, this alone stuffs the "atheists think the universe came from nothing" excrement down the toilet and pulls the flush hard.

Item three. The question of the origin of the universe has nothing to do with atheism. This question is the remit of cosmological physics. And, once again, those of us who paid attention in class, turn to that discipline, and ask what postulates arise therefrom, and what evidence is supplied in support thereof.

Item four. No cosmological physicist presents the fatuous notion that the universe "came from nothing". Instead, cosmological physicists postulate that testable natural processes, involving well-defined interactions acting upon well-defined entities, were responsible for the origin of the observable universe in its current form.

Item five. The question of the origin of the universe is an active research topic, and as a corollary, a number of hypotheses are extant in the field, with respect to the origin of the observable universe. Indeed, it's a measure of how far cosmological physics has progressed, that researchers in the field are able to postulate a number of pre-Big-Bang cosmologies, and then work out how to test those cosmologies and the hypotheses underpinning them. See my exposition on the work of Steinhardt & Turok here for an example.

Item six. As an example of the ideas extant in the literature, I'm aware of two papers by Steinhardt & Turok, in which they propose a pre-Big-Bang cosmology centred upon braneworld collisions (see the above link for more details), and which possesses three elegant features. Namely:

[1] It provides a mechanism for the donation of energy to the newly instantiated universe, facilitating subsequent matter synthesis;

[2] It eliminates the singularity problem from standard Big Bang cosmology;

[3] It provides a testable prediction, namely that the power spectrum of primordial gravitational waves will take a specific form, with the graph skewed towards short wavelengths.

Indeed, [3] above is one of the reasons scientists have been labouring diligently, to produce operational gravitational wave detectors, precisely so that they can test this prediction, once they've learned how to distinguish between primordial gravitational waves and gravitational waves of more recent origin. The moment they learn to do this, the requisite tests will be conducted. Furthermore, if those tests reveal a power spectrum that matches the Steinhardt-Turok prediction, then Steinhardt & Turok walk away with the Nobel Prize for Physics. Anyone exercising reasonable diligence here, will know that I've covered Steinhardt & Turok's work in some detail already on these forums, and the relevant exposition can be found in this post.

spiritmessenger05's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

God has no beginning he always existed, he's not like us, as for evidence u cant proove the imaterial
with material procedures, it just wont work God is beyond our finite capabilities.

The evidence is more transidental den evidedential, want evidence just look around
you, look at the uniformity of nature, the universe, the stars, things dont just
go pooth and then a house appears, it was made by an intelligent being.

I could give u physical prooth but i'd be probly casting my pearls too!!

Sheldon's picture


I am not making myself clear here obviously. If you want to preach find a pulpit, this is a debate forum. I have zero interested in your endless unevidenced claims. I also already addressed your house analogy as we know they're designed because we have objective evidence of that fact, and of course as with all designed things, they never occur naturally. So the fact you have ignored this and repeated it says a great deal about you and your apologetics.

Now once again, what objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?

algebe's picture
@Spiritedone05: he's not like

@Spiritedone05: he's not like us...

That's just it. He's exactly like us.

The Old Testament god was just like Bronze Age tribal societies in the Middle East. The Jesus you worship is just like a contemporary sensitive new age guy from North America, though his face in art bears a remarkable resemblance to Cesare Borgia. Thor and Odin were just like Norse society. Zeus was thoroughly Greek but then turned Roman and changed his name to Jupiter.

These similarities show that gods, including yours, were created by people, not vice versa.

Sheldon's picture


"1.God has no beginning

2.he always existed, he's not like us,

3.u cant proove the imaterial
with material procedures, it just wont work

God is beyond our finite capabilities."

Three unevidenced claims about a deity that is beyond your finite ability(one presumes you mean to understand)? The hilarity continues...

Then this gem


"u (sic) cant proove (sic) the imaterial (sic)"

"I could give u (sic) physical prooth(sic)"

Oh the humanity, I'm embarrassed for you. And for fuck"s sake will you please spell check your vapid verbiage, it's offending my eyes to even read through it.

Calilasseia's picture
So you didn't even

So you didn't even acknowledge the existence of my posts referring to scientific discoveries, let alone attempt to address them?

Ah, the familiar smell of supernaturalist evasion.

oh, by the way, the very existence of the so-called "immaterial", is another of those unsupported assertions we've been waiting 5,000 years for supernaturalists to support, with something other than the usual collapsed intellectual soufflé of regurgitated mythological assertions and fatuous apologetic fabrications. Got any substance here?

Calilasseia's picture
Oh, and astrophysicists have

Oh, and astrophysicists have known for some time how stars are formed. Gravitational contraction of gas clouds, to the point where the internal pressure drives up the temperature to the point where nuclear fusion is initiated.

Did you even learn anything as simple as the Gas Laws in physics classes?

Cognostic's picture
@spiritedone05: OH for

@spiritedone05: OH for FUCK sake. The inane stupidity of such posts makes one wonder how in the hell you hit the top of your head with the little red helmet mommy makes you wear.

RE: "God has no beginning he always existed." (Inane assertion with no evidence backing what so ever.) YOU HAVE NONE.

RE: "God is beyond our finite capabilities." (And while he is beyond our finite capabilities, you (in all your magical wisdom) have somehow managed to detect him.) BULLSHIT Another inane and quite moronic claim.

RE: " look at the uniformity of nature, the universe, the stars, things don't just go poof and then a house appears." (And yet that is exactly what you are arguing for. A magical being that can "POOF" things into existence.) The only people on the site believing that nothing is "POOFED" into existence are the Atheists.)

RE: " it was made by an intelligent being." (Who spoke magic words and poofed things into existence.) Are you completely unable to see the utter and complete stupidity of your remarks?

RE: Giving us physical "prooth." will probably only work after you learn to write.


Attach Image/Video?: 

spiritmessenger05's picture


what objective evidence?

possibletarian's picture
That i think is the point.

That i think is the point.

However i would like to ask you a question. What is 'Spirit' ?

How do we test to see if 'sprit' is even a thing we should take seriously ?

Sheldon's picture
spiritedone05 "what objective

spiritedone05 "what objective evidence?"

Adaboy, now keep sliding your finger along the words, and read the rest...

...can you demonstrate for any deity?

We're all breathless with anticipation here...for the evidence I mean, not for you to complete reading a sentence, that might take a while.


Mutorc S'yriah's picture
2 spiritedone05

2 spiritedone05

how ever u wanna put it, made, came from etc.

No, I'm not putting it any way, I mean if the universe did not ' come from somewhere', and was not 'made', then asking questions about that makes no sense. It is not known if the universe came from anywhere, and there's no reason to believe, (no evidence), that it was made ~ at least not by any design.

do you agree that life cant come from non-life


intelligence cant come from non-intelligence


every cause has an effect (newtons 3rd law)

It seems that by DEFINITION, that is true ~ a cause causes something, one way or another, thus having an effect, (it's a tautology or a deepity).

every law has a law giver?

Human laws have human law makers. Human laws are not like the so-called laws of nature.





Tautology = the saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style.
Needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word.



Deepity = A superficial equivocation which only SEEMS to be profound.


Sheldon's picture
Page 3 of the long list of

Page 3 of the long list of vapid religious cliches, I'm not hopeful we'll get a cogent response any time soon, let alone credible objective evidence for this tedious and ever expanding list of unevidenced claims.



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