[b-hebrew] Supernatural faith and scientific faith
J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Mon Jul 20 08:38:40 EDT 2009
> In order to explore the two possibilities I calculated and studied
> -the total mass of bio-atoms (atoms used in living matter) on the earth.
> -the possible sources of energy on the early earth.
> -the energy wavelengths that could be accepted by each bio-atom and
> those which would be
> -the equilibrium constants in water of each bio-atom, in order to
> know when each atom would
> -the chemical and physical laws that would be at work in the
> synthesis of atoms into molecules and in
> the destruction of the same.
> -possible mechanisms that could shield synthesized molecules from
> destructive energy.
> -the different forces that would be at work in the synthesis of
> nucleo-acids versus proteins.
> -how much information that could generate by chance.
> -how much information was necessary for the smallest possible living entity.
> There were also many questions connected with the points above that I
> studied. And my conclusion after reading about one thousand
> scientific articles and 300 books and doing my own calculations, was
> that origin of life by chance (evolution) was impossible to the
> highest degree, if the laws of nature as we know them were at work on
> the early earth. When one theory (chance origin) is falsified, the
> other had to be the correct one, even though it could not be directly
> verified by scientific means. On the basis of my study I could not
> identify the originator of life on earth as YHWH, the God of the
> Tanakh, but only as one or more living entities.
You could have saved yourself a lot of time and a lot of reasoning by
just applying the second law of chemical thermodynamics to the problem
and calculated the implied change in Gibb's free energy.
dG = dH + dS
The change in Gibb's free energy can be approximated by the change in
energy of the system plus the change in entropy (measure of disorder
of the chemical system).
To go from atoms/simple molecules to the kind of macromolecules in a
single cell implies a massively exothermic reaction. i.e. dH (enthalpy
is massively +ve)
To go from a highly disordered system (atoms/simple molecules) to a
highly ordered system (living cell) implies a massively +ve change in
A reaction can only be feasible if the implied change in Gibb's free
energy is -ve. Subsitituting into our equations we get.
dG = dH + dS
= +ve + +ve
= infeasible reaction
The implied reaction of atoms and simple molecules colliding together
and creating a fully functional living cell is thermodynamically
> supernatural faith versus scientific faith. Regarding long life-spans
> under discussion, I do not see that they can be excluded on the basis
> of biology and our knowledge of the human body, because the process
> of aging is not understood.
Actually, we already understand quite a bit. We know that as cells
reproduce the ends of the DNA shorten. Conclusions have been drawn
that this in some way makes the copying process imperfect and results
in symptoms of ageing.
> Best regards,
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
>> Dear James,
>> While I personally think that Jim's theory is dead wrong, there is a huge
>> difference between the long life-spans of biblical characters (and those in
>> other works of literature as well) and the examples that you listed bellow.
>> Humans living hundreds of years is not only not a part of our present-day
>> experience. It is also totally impossible within our understanding of the
>> laws of nature as they stand at present. Theorizing that "nature was
>> different in the distant past" or the "God intervened in the cases of
>> certain chosen people" is a statement of faith, by its nature unprovable by
>> any scientific method known to us. As long as you admit that your position
>> depends on an acceptance of the biblical text as factually accurate out of
>> faith, that's fine. Comparing anyone who does not accept your faith with
>> children is derogatory, and has no place on this list.
>> Yigal Levin
>> Co-moderator, B-Hebrew
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