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What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

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What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?
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forgotten observerUser avatarPosts: 99Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:21 am

Post What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

If abiogenesis is completely proven and accepted, what effect would this have on philosophical concepts such as the soul, free will E.T.C?
How would the catholic church respond? What other implication would it have to philosophy?


Personally I view that it would totally destroy the few non-naturalistic explanations that still remain to all, but the most hardcore dishonest and ignorant of the religious world, (Keep in mind I said accepted, so I meant into education as well, being taught alongside evolution).

I believe that the soul and most modern theological views on life would prove foundation-less if life can be shown to be originated or even possibly originated from non-life, as well as possibly even the ideas of Heaven and Hell because if the deterministic qualities of non-living matter
could transfer to living matter then free-will breaks, hence heaven and hell concept no longer become logically plausible. I'm a determinist myself and hence realise how this distinction shouldn't exist however many people hold a huge distinction between living and non-living matter. Still I have heard many different perspectives on this but none have been clarified so please, discuss.
"Nobody is ever born into this world as a soldier. "
—Rau Le Creuset, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:30 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4325Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

The Catholic Church would respond by blaming gay marriage.
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Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:37 pm
forgotten observerUser avatarPosts: 99Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:21 am

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

australopithecus wrote:The westboro baptist church would respond by blaming gay marriage.

There fixed it for you!
"Nobody is ever born into this world as a soldier. "
—Rau Le Creuset, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:53 pm
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

No Westboro blames problems on the mere toleration of homosexuality and is thankful for the what they think are punishments. The Pope has blamed atheism in general for problems in addition to same sex marriage. Concerning abiogenesis, Westboro may not even comment and the Catholic Church would likely attempt to find an explanation that allows abiogenesis and their religion to overlap.

As far as I know mainstream academic philosophy would be fine since many of its fields do not require an appeal to theology or supernature but rather to observation and logic.
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:20 am
forgotten observerUser avatarPosts: 99Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:21 am

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

bluejatheist wrote:As far as I know mainstream academic philosophy would be fine since many of its fields do not require an appeal to theology or supernature but rather to observation and logic.
Perhaps I should have said religious philosophy, nevertheless I think philosophy has always been a mixed bag, my own sense of philosophy best fits with Nietzsche and Voltaire however I know of a great number of philosophers past and present whose entire basis was on theology, which is what I mean to address.I was and still am raised in a catholic society and only a few weeks ago my RE teacher was ranting about the soul and the devil E.T.C. Would run-of-the-mill people incorporate such science into their world view as many have done with evolution? Is strong philosophical thinking involving science rare?
"Nobody is ever born into this world as a soldier. "
—Rau Le Creuset, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:38 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

I don't think it would change much, I mean there will be many who would still deny it and others who would still weave meta-physical nonsense into it.

We know after all that abiogenesis had to have happened, and this hasn't really changed philosophy or religion that much.
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Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:54 am
forgotten observerUser avatarPosts: 99Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:21 am

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

Laurens wrote:We know after all that abiogenesis had to have happened.

Are you saying the theistic hypothesis is absolutely impossible? I'm not sure I can honestly say that.
"Nobody is ever born into this world as a soldier. "
—Rau Le Creuset, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:58 am
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

We will likely never know the EXACT way life originated, but we can and have shown many possible ways that life could have originated via natural causes. As early as 1953 Miller showed that amino acids form from basic chemical reactions , of course, as new evidence suggested that the early atmosphere was not as Miller had thought, creationists jumped on this and tried to show that the experiment was flawed. In a way it was, but the point was never to show EXACTLY how the first amino acids formed, but likely ways they could have.

Since then, using more accurate ideas of the early atmosphere, Miller's results have been bettered. We have managed to form Adenine, one of the bases of DNA as well as many more amino acids.

With this in mind, how would people react philosophically if we were able to show that life originated by natural processes? My guess is, a lot of people would ignore it and stick to their "goddunit" presupposition. This isn't surprising.

I know I have seen Hitchens debate a lot of theologians asking when exactly the "soul" was injected into the human species. Some of the answers have been, while not exactly probable, definitely not bat shit. They have claimed a soul is something earned, and while the human animal is still an animal, it is the only species capable of introspection, belief, faith, love, beauty and so on. It wasn't as if one person was suddenly a human and had a soul, more that a soul is a slowly acquired part of the human condition. I have also heard it claimed that there isn't anything to suggest any human has a soul yet, that we are still fumbling in the dark, looking for that goal of existence. I like this, mainly because it doesn't smack of divine cause, it puts all human beings on a level playing field.

Personally, I like natural causes. I like just being a part of the ecosystem. I have a short time to try and live my life in a witty way, and then return to the soil, so the next person can have a stab.

Edit.

Here is a video which shows the experiment I mentioned earlier, PLUS how people may take evidence of abiogenesis. (watch from 5 minutes)

Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:41 pm
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

forgotten observer wrote:
Laurens wrote:We know after all that abiogenesis had to have happened.

Are you saying the theistic hypothesis is absolutely impossible? I'm not sure I can honestly say that.


Abiogenesis is life coming from non-living foundations. Whether it is chemicals or magic incantations, this event had to have happened.

Of course the magic incantations is incredibly implausible, but I'd say that if it happened it still comes under the heading of an abiogenesis event.

The only alternative to abiogenesis is that life always existed and we know this isn't so.
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Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:12 pm
scientiaPosts: 22Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:06 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

forgotten observer wrote:If abiogenesis is completely proven and accepted, what effect would this have on philosophical concepts such as the soul, free will E.T.C?
How would the catholic church respond? What other implication would it have to philosophy?

Free will is a function of the Uncertainty Principle.

I believe that the soul and most modern theological views on life would prove foundation-less if life can be shown to be originated or even possibly originated from non-life, as well as possibly even the ideas of Heaven and Hell because if the deterministic qualities of non-living matter could transfer to living matter then free-will breaks, hence heaven and hell concept no longer become logically plausible.

This doesn't follow from Christian doctrine. For example, man was created in God's image. Therefore, animals most similar to man would exhibit the most similar characteristics of behavior. You could also postulate an animistic soul, in other words, that all living things are a part of divinity but man has dominion.

I'm a determinist myself and hence realise how this distinction shouldn't exist however many people hold a huge distinction between living and non-living matter. Still I have heard many different perspectives on this but none have been clarified so please, discuss.

Genesis 2:7 - And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground
Genesis 3:19 - til thou return to the ground. For out of it thou wast taken, dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Job 34:15 - man shall turn again unto dust
Psalms 103:14 - he remembereth that we are dust
Psalms 104:29 - they die and return to dust
Ecclesiastes 3:20 - All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again

The Book of Common Prayer (1662) burial services - earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:35 pm
scientiaPosts: 22Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:06 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

Laurens wrote:Abiogenesis is life coming from non-living foundations.

This problem of origination is not unique to life; it shows up in other areas.

For example, I have a prepaid cell phone that has run out of minutes. I buy a card with minutes. However, in order to activate the card, I have to call a number and my cell phone won't let me do that because it is out of minutes. This is an origination problem.

Mainframes used to have this problem because most of the operating system was on the hard drive but you couldn't access the hard drive until you loaded the disk operating system. So, the mainframe had built-in functions to read a floppy drive. Unfortunately, the floppy disk wasn't nearly big enough to contain the operating system. How do you get around this? The floppy disk contained instructions on finding the boot sector on the hard drive. The boot sector pointed to a location that contained basic hard drive functions which allowed loading more until, eventually, the entire operating system was loaded. This process reminded someone of the way Baron Von Munchhausen lifted himself by his own bootstraps so it became known as bootstrapping.

However, the problem that comes to mind that seems closer is the topic of writing a compiler. This embodies a very similar problem, namely, how do you write a compiler without having a compiler to create the executable? Starting with nothing but machine code, you can write a simple assembly language/machine code translator. That makes it much easier. Then you use your translator to write a full assembler. You use your assembler to write a very simple compiler which is a subset of the language you are trying to create. So, for example, your simple compiler is L0. You use the L0 compiler to write L1. You use L1 to write L2 and so on until you get to the level you need.

I can think of examples of this. The first public domain machine language monitor used on Commodore 6502 computers was TinyMon. This was used to create SuperMon. This was used to create MicroMon. This was used to create ExtraMon.

Here's a reference to this process: http://compilers.iecc.com/crenshaw/tutor10.txt

Many years ago there were languages called Tiny BASIC, Tiny
Pascal, and Tiny C, each of which was a subset of its parent full
language. Tiny BASIC, for example, had only single-character
variable names and global variables. It supported only a single
data type.

I've wondered just how small and simple a compiler could be made
and still be useful, if it were designed from the outset to be
both easy to use and to parse. Let's find out. This language
will just be called "TINY," period.


Organic molecules have certain properties which are useful in creating more complex structures. These include the ability to form chains, sheets, and three dimensional structures. This is possible because of certain properties of Carbon atoms including having four bonds and same element bond energy that is similar to the bond energy for other elements. Silicon is not useful for organic molecules because it has higher bond energy for things like sulfur and oxygen than it does for silicon/silicon bonds. This is why while diamond is composed of direct carbon/carbon bonds, the equivalent with silicon is quartz with silica/silica bonds. Greater complexity gives rise to greater function however this is not free as greater complexity is bounded by energy constraints. This is quite similar to programming languages as greater complexity allows greater function but is also bounded by both space consideration and execute time.
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:33 am
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

Free will is a function of the Uncertainty Principle.


How? Deterministic and random are both just as bad for free will.
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:41 am
scientiaPosts: 22Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:06 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

devilsadvocate wrote:
Free will is a function of the Uncertainty Principle.


How? Deterministic and random are both just as bad for free will.

All systems will fall into a loop unless they include an unpredictable component. And, of course, if the human brain fell into a loop, free will would vanish. You would just repeat the same things over and over. Secondly, disorder is part of thermodynamics. The more energy a system has, the more chaotic its function. Chaos is a bounded range of disorder. True randomness would require an infinite amount of energy. I guess the way you could look at it is like choosing a random number between 1 and 10. That is the range and the limit of the disorder. Okay, imagine you increased that to 50. The disorder increases because the range is larger. That is good too since a purely random brain would also preclude free will.
Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:21 pm
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

And, of course, if the human brain fell into a loop, free will would vanish. You would just repeat the same things over and over. Secondly, disorder is part of thermodynamics. The more energy a system has, the more chaotic its function. Chaos is a bounded range of disorder. True randomness would require an infinite amount of energy. I guess the way you could look at it is like choosing a random number between 1 and 10. That is the range and the limit of the disorder. Okay, imagine you increased that to 50. The disorder increases because the range is larger. That is good too since a purely random brain would also preclude free will.


We understand causality: Events in causal systems follow by necessity from prior events.

We understand randomness (in this context): It means lack of rigid causal system.


What you're trying to purport is a 3rd system (free will), where actions are neither causal nor random. This is what is hard to imagine, since it seems together those two options exhaust all the possibilities. If you'd propose mechanism for free will, it would be causal. If you don't propose mechanism, it would be random. Combination of the two doesn't work either. You can introduce randomness to a causal system, but the system can still be broken down to it's causal and random parts.
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:24 am
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2707Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

The problem with free will is that choice is a process made by a brain that is grounded in the rules of reality.
When you make a choice, was it determined or was it random?
If it was determined then you didn't have a choice, if it was random then you didn't chose.
I know not of any mechanism in which you chose what you want and yet you could always chose something different.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:43 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 807Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

A wise man once said: "Yes I have free will; I have no choice but to have it."

Apart from that I don't really care about the possible philosophical implications of abiogenesis (as in the naturalistic beginning of life), since I don't actually see how it would matter much in atheistic philophy. Teologicans will probably have some problems with it since it'd render their deity at least partly useless.
Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:07 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: What are the philosophical implications of abiogenesis?

scientia wrote:Free will is a function of the Uncertainty Principle.


Not quite. HUP (coupled with Bell's Theorem) certainly rules out determinism, but it doesn't necessarily rule in free will.

In short, indeterminism is necessary for free will, but not sufficient. There are other extremely good reasons to suppose that free will is an illusion.
Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:55 am
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