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My answer to G Man's question

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My answer to G Man's question
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Nesslig20User avatarPosts: 263Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:44 pm Gender: Male

Post My answer to G Man's question

Recently, a youtuber called G Man made this challenge:

Before I go into this, I will tackle some of the mistakes that G Man makes and a few problems that I have in the 2 minute video challenge.

First: Yes, cells are indeed complex. Much more complex than G Man would probably be aware of. But we have to know what we mean by that word. In a general sense, complexity is merely a statement that we make about something that is difficult to understand how it works. If you realize this, it comes easy to understand that the assumption of complexity as a sign of design is completely fallacious. When creationists say:
"This is so complex, therefore it couldn’t have evolved / it must’ve been designed!!”

What they essentially are saying is…
“I don’t understand it, therefore it couldn’t have evolved / it must’ve been designed!!."

Any argument that appeals to complexity is pretty much always an appeal to personal incredulity. Another reason for the invalidity of this argument is that complexity is often not associated with design, rather simplicity is. As one commenter under G Man’s video said:
jon f. mcdropout wrote:Simplicity is a sign of design. There is a reason [why] we don’t use ‘rube goldberg’ machines in everyday life, as design principles dictate that we (designers) eliminate non-essential energy use or materials….Whether you can conceptualize the process or not, its clear that simplicity is a better indicator of design; whereas, complexity seems to indicates a long, accumulative process (even if that process is one being utilized by humanity).

I have made these points before too:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/11550443382 ... WdzMbGwDXD
Natural (non-random) processes have no problem creating complex things. Examples are snowflakes, crystals or any complex atomically arrangement that spontaneously form are very common in nature. These are examples of phenomenon known as “emergent complexity” or just “emergence”.


Second: G Man asks two questions in one sentence:
“How does evolution produce a cell...how does randomness produce a cell”

Evolution isn’t random, which has been explained to him countless times before. He just won’t listen when he is being corrected. Also, evolution doesn’t create a cell. Evolution is a process that involves population genetics, and varying allele frequencies. Cells aren’t the product of that process, they are the result of chemistry. G Man mentions “chemical evolution” which is a misnomer since this isn’t how the word evolution is used in science.

Third: I was rather surprised when G Man implies that he wants to learn. Usually he just shuts off when someone explains something to him that conflicts with his beliefs. However, he later says he wants a video as an answer that is less than 10 minutes, because…..that way….he can give the most thorough response. Notice what he did there? This strongly implies that he has already decided to disagree with any answer he will get. If he really wanted to learn, he should have said that he wants to have an answer in less than 10 minutes because it is easier for him to learn and understand the answer, not it is easier for him to respond. A strong indication that G Man doesn’t really want to learn from the answers that are given to him.
Now, we get to the origins (not the evolution) of the cell. It depends on what he means by it though. I he means the cells as the origins of life, then this video would be a great summary (which is roughly 10 minutes).

However, specifically a cell refers to the structure of a double lipid membrane that separates the interior from the exterior environment. You can have nucleic acids, peptides and carbohydrates without a cell, but you can have a cell (or proto cell) without any of these. Lipids are the main requirement for such a structure. Surprisingly, getting a proto-cells is relatively easy. You can do it yourself with water and a few drops of oil (which are basically lipids). Because of how one end of a lipid is hydrophobic and the rest is hydrophilic, the lipids will automatically arrange themselves in complex structures due to these molecular interactions.
Image
This is another example of emergent complexity. Micelles are usually the first structures to be formed (see picture above), but if there are enough of these structures, multiple micelles can combines to form long bilayer sheets, which in turn can fold into a liposome (See animation between 0:41 and 1:17 minutes below with explanation and awesome interview)

This is not just a mere cartoon, this happens with fatty acids in water and this is pretty much how the phospholipids of our cell membrane works. And a liposome is more important than it may seem. Such a structure can take up small building blocks inside it, let them react to form larger more complex molecules, and keep them inside since these larger molecules cannot escape. In order words, such vesicles promote the formation of more complex chemistry.
The discussion in the video is an interview with a researcher about his publication Mansy, Sheref S., et al. "Template-directed synthesis of a genetic polymer in a model protocell." Nature 454.7200 (2008): 122-125.
In another study: Hanczyc, M.M., S.M. Fujikawa, and J.W. Szostak. 2003. Experimental models of primitive cellular compartments: Encapsulation, growth, and division. Science 302(Oct. 24):618–622. They showed that these vesicles can perform some nifty things like taking up RNA molecules from the environment, concentrating them inside.
And he published allot more papers on the topic of abiogenesis than just this.
Source of the animation
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Nesslig20 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:16 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: My answer to G Man's question

Nesslig20 wrote:But we have to know what we mean by that word. In a general sense, complexity is merely a statement that we make about something that is difficult to understand how it works.



I would say that the word for this is 'complicated', because complexity portrays a system with a large number of components interacting in various ways according to local rules, which then consequently means there is no single set of higher order instructions which produces this system.

Creationists find complexity complicated so they put in a God to resolve that without realizing just how complex a god necessarily must be.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:55 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2433Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: My answer to G Man's question

Indeed. Treating complexity and simplicity as opposites is a mistake. Here's a simple complex system.

Image

More here:

http://www.hackenslash.co.uk/2016/08/ir ... ution.html
Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:01 pm
leroyPosts: 1872Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: My answer to G Man's question

Nesslig20 wrote:
First: Yes, cells are indeed complex. Much more complex than G Man would probably be aware of. But we have to know what we mean by that word. In a general sense, complexity is merely a statement that we make about something that is difficult to understand how it works. If you realize this, it comes easy to understand that the assumption of complexity as a sign of design is completely fallacious. When creationists say:
"This is so complex, therefore it couldn’t have evolved / it must’ve been designed!!”


Except that this is not what “creationists” mean by complexity. With complexity it is simply meant that “it” has many units organized in a very specific order and pattern, where many combinations are possible (according to the laws of nature) but only 1 or few combinations would produce “it”

so for example a car is complex because it has many parts, organized in a very specific order and pattern, there are many possible combinations in which these parts can exist but only 1 (or few) combinations would produce something that you would call a car.

The arguments is that the complexity in a cell is analogous to the complexity in a car.

Both have
1 many parts
2 organized in a very specific order and pattern
3 according to the laws of nature many different combinations are possible
4 only 1 (or few ) combinations would produce something that you would call a car or a cell.

To counter this argument you can ether:

1 show that the complexity in cells is not analogous to the complexity in cars (cells lack ether 1,2,3 or 4)

Or

2 show that complexity does not necessarily indicate design.


As for “snowflakes” the complexity of a snowflake is not analogous to the complexity of a car, according to the laws of nature a nice hexagonal pattern is the only possible pattern that water can adopt.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:38 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: My answer to G Man's question

leroy wrote:where many combinations are possible (according to the laws of nature) but only 1 or few combinations would produce “it”

What do you mean by "the laws of nature"? This is a huge ambiguity and ambiguities lead to sloppy "reasoning".

EDIT: and actually, while we're at it, there's a huge ambiguity in "many units organized in a very specific order and pattern". With regards to a car I can think of literally trillions of different ways for the atoms in that car to be shuffled around without any noticeable change (edit: noticeable without instrumentation, at least).
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:51 pm
leroyPosts: 1872Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: My answer to G Man's question

borrofburi wrote:EDIT: and actually, while we're at it, there's a huge ambiguity in "many units organized in a very specific order and pattern". With regards to a car I can think of literally trillions of different ways for the atoms in that car to be shuffled around without any noticeable change (edit: noticeable without instrumentation, at least


sure but "trillions" is a very small number when you compare it with all the possible ways in which you can shuffle atoms. in other words when you compare all the possible combinations in which atoms can exist, only a very small fraction of such combinations would produce a car.

In other words statistically speaking cars have low entropy, and most possible combinations would have high entropy


borrofburi wrote:What do you mean by "the laws of nature"? This is a huge ambiguity and ambiguities lead to sloppy "reasoning".



I simply mean natural mechanisms.

back to the car example, I simply mean that there are many possible combinations in which atoms could have existed. in other words there is not a law (or something) that would force atoms to organice themselves in the order and pattern required to do a car.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:09 pm
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