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Dr.Trax
12-04-2007, 10:51 PM
Salam Alaikum!

Students, ask your teachers these questions and see the helplessness of Darwinism:

1.- Is there a single intermediate form fossil among all the 100 million or so that have been unearthed to date?

- No, there is not. Nobody can say there is, because every fossil evolutionists have to date proposed as a "missing link" either turned out to be a hoax or else was removed from the literature because it had been distortedly interpreted.


2.- Can a single protein molecule emerge by chance?

- No, it cannot. The chances of a protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10950. In practical terms that figure means "zero probability."
The probability of an average protein molecule made up of 500 amino acids being arranged in the correct quantity and sequence in addition to the probability of all of the amino acids it contains being only left-handed and being combined with only peptide bonds is "1" over 10950. We can write this number which is formed by putting 950 zeros next to 1 .


3.Is it true that there have been shown to be millions of living fossils?

- Yes. Specimens of living fossils are displayed all over the world. Thousands of fossils have been on show in hundreds of exhibitions in Turkey alone.


4.Is it true that Piltdown Man, exhibited for 40 years, was a hoax?

- Yes. A 500-year-old human cranium was joined onto an orangutan jaw and then stained with potassium dichromate to give it an aged appearance.


5.Is it true that Nebraska Man was a fraud based on a single peccary tooth?
- Yes. The reconstructions based on a single molar tooth took their place among evolutionist frauds when it was realized the tooth actually belonged to a peccary.


6.Is it true that Archæoraptor liaoningensis, proposed as a "dino-bird," was a fraud?

- Yes. The fossil, consisting of bone and stone held together using glue and plaster, was made by adding a dinosaur tail to a bird body. The fossil, described in the press as evidence for so-called evolution, was declared to be "dino-bird waffle" two years later.


7.Is it true that the Coelacanth, for years depicted as an intermediate form fossil, is a species of fish still living today?

- Yes. Because of the bones in its fins the Coelacanth was depicted as a fish about to progress to the walking stage. However, the capture of many living specimens consigned all fictitious evolutionist scenarios to the waste bin.


8.Is it true that Archaeopteryx, also put forward as a missing link, was actually a fully flying bird?

- Yes. It has been realized that this extinct bird, a tool for evolutionist claims because of the teeth in its jaws, the claw-like nails on its wings and long tail, actually flew in just the same way as present-day flying birds.


9.Did Ernst Haeckel admit that the embryo illustrations submitted as evidence of evolution were hoaxes?

- Yes. The lie that in the mother's womb the human embryo exhibits first fish-like and then reptilian features during the course of its development has gone down as another of the theory of evolution's deceptions.



10.Is it true that the fossil known as Lucy belonged to an extinct type of ape and has been removed from the fictitious tree of human evolution?

- Yes. Lucy, portrayed to the public as a missing link, is today agreed to have been an ape with no place in the human family tree. The magazine Science et Vie announced this in its cover story titled "Adieu Lucy" (Farewell, Lucy) in May 1999.


11.Have mutations ever been observed to produce beneficial organs?

- No, they have not. Since mutations occur at random, they are almost always harmful. The changes brought about by mutations can only resemble those caused in human beings in Hiroshima, Nagasaki or Chernobyl: death, handicap and disease...



12.Can natural selection bring about changes in an organism's genetic data or produce a new organ?

- No, it cannot. Natural selection proposes that those individuals able to adapt to their surroundings survive, while those that are unable, die out. This unconscious form of elimination cannot bestow ever more complex organs or systems on living things.



13.Is it true that the "peppered moths" (in the industrial melanism story), for so long proposed as evidence of natural selection as an evolutionary mechanism, were actually pictured by being glued onto trees?

- Yes. But even if the pictures in question were genuine, they would still provide no evidence for evolution. That is because as the numbers of light-colored moths declined as a result of natural selection, the darker population increased. But the population acquired no new genetic features.


14.Can the information sufficient to fill 1 million encyclopedia pages that is contained in DNA be coded in the correct sequence by chance?

- No, it cannot. In the same way that it is impossible for someone wearing a blindfold to randomly print out a million pages of meaningful information, so it is impossible for unconscious and haphazard factors to arrange DNA.


15.Is it true that inanimate atoms cannot join together and spontaneously give rise to life?

- Yes, it is true. Such medieval beliefs as flies emerging from food waste, moths from wool, or wheat producing mice, have been disproved in our day. "Life comes only from life" is today a generally agreed, proven scientific reality.


16.Is it possible for it to be the unconscious atoms constituting the brain that ask these questions, think, judge, rejoice, feel excitement, enjoy eating chocolate or listening to music?

- No. Human beings are entities with souls. The existence of the soul cannot be explained in material terms.


17.Is it true that the human eye provides a much more advanced and clearer image than any camera produced by even the most advanced present-day technology?

- Yes, it is true. It is irrational and illogical to maintain that images that thousands of conscious and rational engineers have failed to come up with are constantly produced by chance in a small area in the brain.


Source:http://www.askdarwinists.com/:)

Peace!
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جوري
12-04-2007, 11:23 PM
Good post... get ready for some blackwash...which tends to happen when the material can't be tackled, then some good old character assassination will be as effective!

:w:
Reply

ranma1/2
12-05-2007, 01:13 AM
Students, ask your teachers these questions and show how ignorant you are on evolition.

1.- Is there a single intermediate form fossil among all the 100 million or so that have been unearthed to date?
Yes there are.
here is a list.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

2.- Can a single protein molecule emerge by chance?

Yes it can. The chances of a protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10950. What are the chances of someone winning the lottery, very slim but it still happens. What are the chances of you being born. Even slimmer but it still happens.

3.Is it true that there have been shown to be millions of living fossils?

Well i guess you got this kind of right.

4 -.Is it true that Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, 6.Archæoraptor liaoningensis,.......?
Yes, im not sure what your point is. That some people are dishonest, yes. You do seem to miss that it is science and not creationists that expose the fakes.

7.Is it true that the Coelacanth, for years depicted as an intermediate form fossil, is a species of fish still living today?

- Yes. whats your point? It seems you need to read up on evo.
Perhaps checking out this link should help.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
Btu to put it simply. Evolution does not require species to die out.

8.Is it true that Archaeopteryx, also put forward as a missing link, was actually a fully flying bird?

There has been debate as to what it exactly was.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeopteryx.


9.Did Ernst Haeckel admit that the embryo illustrations submitted as evidence of evolution were hoaxes?

THere have been rumors. But Rumors are rumors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_H...mbryo_drawings
Regaurdless, even if true, science tends to correct itself.


10.Is it true that the fossil known as Lucy belonged to an extinct type of ape ?
Lucy have been debated as to what she is exactly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_%2...alopithecus%29

11.[B]Have mutations ever been observed to produce beneficial organs?.[B]
could you clarify what you mean by organs. However beneficial mutations have occured and been observed.


12.Can natural selection bring about changes in an organism's genetic data or produce a new organ?
Can NS no. Can mutations change a species general dna over time. Yes.
NS is just a selector for evo.

13.Is it true that the "peppered moths" (in the industrial melanism story), for so long proposed as evidence of natural selection as an evolutionary mechanism, were actually pictured by being glued onto trees?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth#Evolution


14.Can the information sufficient to fill 1 million encyclopedia pages that is contained in DNA be coded in the correct sequence by chance?


DNA didnt just pop into existence. It was a process. Please read the berkley link i provided.

15.Is it true that inanimate atoms cannot join together and spontaneously give rise to life?

This deals with abiogenisis. Not evo so I can save it for a discussion on that. Can you tell me what an animate atom is?

16.Is it possible for it to be the unconscious atoms constituting the brain that ask these questions, think, judge, rejoice, feel excitement, enjoy eating chocolate or listening to music?

?? your losing me again?? 1st what does this do with evo? What is a conscious atom? If you are asking why we have emotions, i suggest you do some reading.


17.Is it true that the human eye provides a much more advanced and clearer image than any camera produced by even the most advanced present-day technology?

Yes, no, maybe. So what? Our eyes have been millions of years in development. And besides my eyes are pretty crappy.



So far this entire doctument didnt even really touch on evolution.
There were comments that their have been hoaxes.
There were questions that clearly showed the writer was ignorant on evoltion.



Peace![/QUOTE]
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 01:52 AM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
Students, ask your teachers these questions and show how ignorant you are on evolition.

1.- Is there a single intermediate form fossil among all the 100 million or so that have been unearthed to date?
Yes there are.
here is a list.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html
Your 'talk origins speaks of 'transition' fossil, that is not an intermediate!
2.- Can a single protein molecule emerge by chance?

Yes it can. The chances of a protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10950. What are the chances of someone winning the lottery, very slim but it still happens. What are the chances of you being born. Even slimmer but it still happens.
what are the chances that the random protein which emerged fromnowhere is actually 'functional'? if we were to accept the lottery theory?


4 -.Is it true that Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, 6.Archæoraptor liaoningensis,.......?
Yes, im not sure what your point is. That some people are dishonest, yes. You do seem to miss that it is science and not creationists that expose the fakes.
That doesn't answer the posed question!
7.Is it true that the Coelacanth, for years depicted as an intermediate form fossil, is a species of fish still living today?

- Yes. whats your point? It seems you need to read up on evo.
Perhaps checking out this link should help.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
Btu to put it simply. Evolution does not require species to die out.
The Coelacanth which is almost 420 million yrs old was thought to be our eldest ancestor, supposed to have developed lungs and walked on land, which isn't the case, it swims today, unevolved, that is the point!

8.Is it true that Archaeopteryx, also put forward as a missing link, was actually a fully flying bird?

There has been debate as to what it exactly was.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeopteryx.
wiki doesn't tackle the question.


9.Did Ernst Haeckel admit that the embryo illustrations submitted as evidence of evolution were hoaxes?

THere have been rumors. But Rumors are rumors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_H...mbryo_drawings
Regaurdless, even if true, science tends to correct itself.
Again doesn't address the question or offer any answers!

10.Is it true that the fossil known as Lucy belonged to an extinct type of ape ?
Lucy have been debated as to what she is exactly. [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_%28Australopithecus%29[/url
Again doesn't answer the question...

11.[B]Have mutations ever been observed to produce beneficial organs?.[B]
could you clarify what you mean by organs. However beneficial mutations have occured and been observed.
pls show us evidence of beneficial mutations.. and in the process don't confuse protective of to be beneficial as there is a difference!

12.Can natural selection bring about changes in an organism's genetic data or produce a new organ?
Can NS no. Can mutations change a species general dna over time. Yes.
NS is just a selector for evo.
Has changing the 'genetics' offered us speciation? if so I'd like to see that..

13.Is it true that the "peppered moths" (in the industrial melanism story), for so long proposed as evidence of natural selection as an evolutionary mechanism, were actually pictured by being glued onto trees?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth#Evolution
Again referencing to an article doesn't answer the Q, perhaps you'd like to draw our attention to which part in the article is an answer?

14.Can the information sufficient to fill 1 million encyclopedia pages that is contained in DNA be coded in the correct sequence by chance?


DNA didnt just pop into existence. It was a process. Please read the berkley link i provided.
So it didn't pop into existence? how did it come to be? pls summarize for us what you understood from the Berkley article..

15.Is it true that inanimate atoms cannot join together and spontaneously give rise to life?

This deals with abiogenisis. Not evo so I can save it for a discussion on that. Can you tell me what an animate atom is?
it deals with the origins of life as well as some known points often used to make an argument for evo, the original article are just a few upshots... which You are not addressing on a level!
16.Is it possible for it to be the unconscious atoms constituting the brain that ask these questions, think, judge, rejoice, feel excitement, enjoy eating chocolate or listening to music?

?? your losing me again?? 1st what does this do with evo? What is a conscious atom? If you are asking why we have emotions, i suggest you do some reading.
Again, the original article doesn't just deal with evo but origins of life.. from which we are to deduce a couple of plausible options.. one which is spontaneous generation of life from non-living sources, which was theorized but not proven even with your weighty articles..

17.Is it true that the human eye provides a much more advanced and clearer image than any camera produced by even the most advanced present-day technology?

Yes, no, maybe. So what? Our eyes have been millions of years in development. And besides my eyes are pretty crappy.
You need to give this one some thought.. maybe you need to recharge your eyes over night or replace them every couple of years.. or the best option of all let us know how all those rods, cons, cornea, iris, maculas, retinas, choroids, conjunctiva, canal of schlem, virtous, ora serrata, SO4,LR6 came to be from that spontanous first protein without referencing us to pages and asking us to read?



So far this entire doctument didnt even really touch on evolution.
There were comments that their have been hoaxes.
There were questions that clearly showed the writer was ignorant on evoltion.
Suffice it to say, you haven't touched on evolution or origins of life with any sort of dexterity to be honest... I am thinking you too are ignorant of the articles you use? what do you think?

cheers
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جوري
12-05-2007, 01:54 AM
a good article on randomly assembling proteins that is very detailed

1
Probabilities of randomly assembling a primitive cell on Earth


Summary

We evaluate the probability Pr that the RNA of the first cell was
assembled randomly in the time available (1.11 billion years
[b.y.]). To do this calculation, we first set a strict upper limit
on the number of chemical reactions nr which could have occurred
before the first cell appeared.
In order to illustrate the consequences of the finite value of nr,
we make some extremely minimalist assumptions about cells. We
consider a cell composed of Np = 12 proteins, each containing Na =
14 amino acids. We refer to the minimum (Np , Na) set as a (12-14)
cell. Such a cell is smaller than some modern viruses.
The ability to perform any of the basic tasks of the cell is not
necessarily limited to a single protein. Many different proteins
among all those which were available in the primeval soup may have
been able to perform (say) waste disposal. In order to allow for
this in estimating Pr, we include a factor Q to describe how many
different proteins in the primeval soup could have performed each
of the basic tasks of cell operation. The larger Q is, the easier
it is to assemble a functional cell by random processes. However,
there is a maximum value Qmax that is set by phase space arguments.
The hypothesis that life originated by random processes requires
that Pr be of order unity. We estimate how large Q must be (Qra :
subscript “ra” denotes “random assembly”) in order to ensure Pr = 1
in the time that is available (1.11 b.y.). We find that Qra must be
so large as to exceed the maximum permissible value Qmax in the
phase space of proteins comprised of a set of 14 distinct amino
acids. Such a large value of Qra would have serious consequences
for biology: if Qra were truly as large as Qmax in the primeval
soup, then essentially all 14-acid proteins must have possessed
the ability to perform each of the fundamental tasks in the cell.
That is, there was no task specificity among the proteins: a
protein which was able (say) to maintain the membrane in a cell
would also have been able to control (say) the replication
process.
In such a situation, the very concept of a cell, as a wellorganized
factory in which the task of each department is
regulated, and each department must coordinate dependably with all
2
others, would no longer be valid. A cell would quickly be reduced
to an unpredictable entity which lacked robust properties.
In the “real world”, where a cell must be able to preserve itself
and replicate faithfully from generation to generation, it seems
inevitable that the various proteins must be prevented (by nature)
from performing multiple tasks. That is, there must be a certain
amount of specificity to the task that any given protein can
perform: of all available proteins, only a fraction F should be
capable of performing the task of (say) membrane repair. In a cell
where the number of proteins is Np, the restraints of specificity
require that the value of F can certainly not exceed 1/Np. But F
might be much smaller than this upper limit. This leads us to
introduce a “protein specificity index” m such that the actual
value of F in the primeval soup is usefully written as (1/Np)m. In
the modern world, the value of m ranges from 1 to a maximum value
between about 10 and 20.
We find that, even assigning the minimum possible specificity (m =
1), the probability Pr of assembling the RNA of a (12-14) cell by
random processes in 1.11 billion years using triplet codons is no
more than one in 1079. And if the protein tasks are even marginally
specific (with m = 2-3, say), the chances of random assembly of
RNA for the first cell decreases to less than one in 10100.
In order to improve the chances of random assembly of the first
cell, we consider a situation which might have existed in the
young Earth. We suppose that proteins could be constructed using a
smaller set (numbering Naa) of distinct amino acids: we consider
the case of Naa = 5 (instead of the modern 20). If, in these
conditions, the number of bases in DNA remained as large as 4,
then doublet codons sufficed to encode protein production with the
same amount of error protection as occurs in the modern (triplet)
genetic code. In such conditions, the probability of randomly
assembling the RNA for the first cell in 1.11 b.y. improves.
However, it is still small: the optimal probability is no more
than one in 1063.
To improve the probability even further, it is tempting to
consider the possibility of singlet codons. But we point out that
these are not relevant in a realistic biology.
In the context of doublet codons, we can improve the probability Pr
of random assembly by considering a larger set of distinct amino
acids. The number of distinct amino acids for which doublet-codons
can encode ranges from 5 to 14 (allowing for start and stop
codons). As Naa increases above 5, there is a marked improvement in
3
Pr for a (12-14) cell: in fact, Pr may approach a value of order
unity when Naa = 11 provided that the specificity index m is
smaller than 1.3. (This is far below the average value of m, and
represents very marginal specificity.) And Pr formally exceeds
unity for Naa in the range from 12 to 14, provided that m does not
exceed 2.5. This value of specificity is still well below the
average value. It is not clear that a functioning cell could
survive for long with such low protein specificities.
Nevertheless, the fact that Pr formally reaches a value as large as
unity suggests that we may have found a window of opportunity for
random assembly of the first (12-14) cell.
However, these cells face a potentially fatal problem: even with
11 amino acids to be encoded by 16 codons in the RNA, there is
little redundancy in the genetic code. And for Naa = 14, the
redundancy vanishes altogether. As a result, there is a much
reduced error protection in the code which translates the
information in RNA to proteins. In the limit Naa = 14, there is no
error protection at all: transcription from RNA to protein then
has no immunity against noise. Moreover, in the limit Naa = 14
(plus a start and stop), proteins would be equally able to encode
for RNA, in violation of the Central Dogma of biology. Therefore,
although the probability of randomly assembling the RNA for a (12-
14) cell in such a world may approach unity in a mathematical
sense, it is not clear how useful such a cell would be for
biology.
We stress that our assumptions about a (12-14) cell are minimalist
in the extreme. In the “real world”, it is not obvious that a
protein containing only 14 peptides will be able to fold into a
stable 3-dimensional shape at the temperatures where water is
liquid. And in the “real world”, a cell probably requires as many
as 250 proteins to function. In such case, even if Naa = 14, Pr
approaches unity only if the specificity index m lies in the very
restricted range between 1.0 and 1.17. We identify this as a
narrow window of opportunity for random assembly of primitive
cells. But even this narrow window closes altogether if our
estimate of the number of chemical reactions is too large by
several orders of magnitude (as it may well be).
Our calculations refer only to the assembling of a cell in which
the genetic code is already at work. We do not address the origin
of the genetic code itself.
We conclude that, even if we assume that the genetic code was
already in existence (by some unspecified mechanism), conditions
in the early Earth must have been “finely tuned” in order to
4
“squeeze through” the narrow window of opportunity and assemble
the first cell on Earth in a truly random manner.

1. Introduction
Evolution theory claims that all species of animals and plants
that now exist on Earth came into existence as a result of random
variations in pre-existing species. It is presumed that life on
Earth began as a single cell. An essential aspect of evolution
theory is that the first living cell originated in the early Earth
also as a result of random processes.
When Darwin proposed his theory of evolution, he did not know the
chemical make-up of a cell. Therefore, when he appealed to random
processes at work in nature, he could be excused for not knowing
what exactly was entailed in such processes. But in our day and
age, advances in microbiology and biochemistry have opened up to
us the molecular details of the processes that occur in living
cells. For example, we now know the make-up of proteins and DNA.
In fact, we will need to describe these in some detail in order to
proceed with our discussion of the probability of random
formation. (We will return to these details below.)
We are now in a position to spell out the chemical processes that
must have occurred if the first cell was indeed put together by
chance.
2. The challenge of creating the first cell
The question we wish to examine here is the following. If the
process of assembling the first cell occurred in a truly random
manner in the early Earth, what conditions would be needed?
To address this question, we need to answer two more basic
questions: (a) how much time was available before the first cell
appeared? And (b) how many chemical reactions of the correct type
could have occurred in the time available? The aim here is to
answer these questions as quantitatively as possible.
The answer to question (b) will set a limit on the properties of
the first cell that would have been created by random processes in
the early Earth.
We turn first to the question of how much time was available for
the development of the first living cell.

5

3. The earliest life forms on Earth
The fossil record indicates that the first life forms to appear on
Earth existed some 3.45 billion years ago. These are cyanobacteria
(formerly called blue-green algae) which are found in rocks from
Apex Chert, Australia. ). The first life forms on Earth were
single-cell organisms. (See http://www.unimuenster.
de/GeoPalaeontologie/Palaeo/Palbot/seite1.html
It is hardly surprising from an evolutionary standpoint that the
earliest forms of life on Earth were single-cell organisms.
Presumably it is easier for random processes to give rise to a
single cell first, before bringing forth a multi-cell organism.
4. How much time elapsed before the first cell appeared on Earth?

The age of the Earth, based on radioactive dating of rocks, is
estimated to be 4.56 billion years old. Comparing this with the
cyanobacteria ages, we see that the first living cells appeared
within a time interval of 1.11 billion years of the formation of
the Earth.
Therefore, the time tfc required for the development of the first
cell on the Earth is certainly no longer than 1.11 billion years.
Actually, the value of tfc might be much shorter than this.
Astronomers who calculate the internal structure of the Sun find
that the Sun has not always been as luminous as it is today: the
young Sun is calculated to have had a luminosity that is some 20-
30 percent fainter than it is today. Therefore, the mean
temperature on the early Earth might have been considerably colder
than it is today, so cold that the water on Earth’s surface was
frozen. (This is the “faint young Sun problem”: Sagan and Mullen,
1972, Science vol. 177, 52).
It is likely that the development of life requires water to be in
liquid form. The solar structure calculations suggest that the
energy provided by the Sun to the Earth might not have become
sufficient to melt the ice until the Sun was about 700 hundred
million years old. This means that the first living cell appeared
no more than about 400 million years after liquid water became
available.
Moreover, the early Earth would have been subject to a more or
less heavy bombardment by the debris of the proto-planetary disk
6
before the latter was finally cleared out. The impacts of
planetesimals (such as that which destroyed the dinosaurs some 60
Myr ago) would have interrupted the processes which were “trying
to form” the first cell. Large impacts might have reduced the
interval for assembling the first cell to even less than 400
million years.
However, in order to improve the chances of evolution, let us
grant a full 1.11 billion years and ask the question: could the
first cell have developed by random processes in 1.11 billion
years?
The number of seconds of time in 1.11 billion years is 3.5X1016. We
will need this number in what follows.

5. Some essential constituents of cells
Now that we know how much time is available, we move on to the
main question that we wish to address: how was the first living
cell formed? Evolution theory asserts that it was formed by random
processes. We wish to assess the probability of such processes.
To assess realistically the chances of assembling the first cell
by chance, we need to know certain fundamental properties of the
components that go to make up a cell. Let us first summarize
these.
5.1. What do we need to know about proteins?

There are three levels of structure within a protein which are
relevant to us here.
(a) Primary Structure

A protein consists of a series of amino acids that are linked (by
peptide bonds) into a chain in a specific order. The change of
even a single amino acid in a chain of dozens or hundreds of amino
acids may in certain cases disrupt the functioning of the protein.
(b) Secondary structure
In order that proteins may function, the primary structure (i.e. a
chain of amino acids) is not sufficient. Certain segments of the
amino acids in the chain group themselves together into sub-units
known as alpha-helixes, beta-sheets, and beta-turns. For example,
7
an alpha-helix consists of a chain of consecutive amino acids
arranged in a twisted three-dimensional structure (including 3.6
acids per turn of the helix) with well-defined angles between
neighboring acids in the chain.
These well-defined sub-units form the secondary structure of the
protein: they are stable and rigid, like “lego” blocks which can
be “fitted together” into a larger structure.
(c) Tertiary structure
Once the “lego” blocks are available, the stage is set for the
protein to go beyond the secondary structure: using available
thermal energy, the protein twists and folds itself into a certain
3-dimensional structure with specific bumps and hollows. These
bumps and hollows, which are referred to as the tertiary structure
of the protein, determine where electric charge builds up, and
these localized charges control the protein’s function, including
the reactions that it can catalyze (if it is an enzyme). For
example, insulin (one of the shortest proteins in the human body,
with 51 amino acids) folds itself naturally into a wedge-like
shape which enables groups of six insulin molecules to pack
themselves tightly into spherical clusters.
The sequence of amino acids in a particular protein may be highly
specific at certain locations. There are certain sites in the
protein (“invariant sites”) where even a single alteration in the
sequence can lead to drastic changes in the shape of the folded
protein, thereby disabling the protein. For example, human
hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the blood,
contains Na = 574 amino acids arranged in four secondary sub-units,
with an overall spherical tertiary structure. Two of the invariant
sites in hemoglobin have attracted widespread attention because of
the drastic consequences they may have in a certain segment of the
population. If one of the amino acids (glutamic acid) in a certain
position in two of the sub-units of the hemoglobin molecule is
replaced by another amino acid (valine), the result is the painful
and deadly disease known as sickle cell anemia. Although it would
seem that switching only 2 out of 574 amino acids ought to have an
insignificant effect, this is not the case for these two
particular sites. Just by changing 2 amino acids and leaving all
the remaining 572 as before, the process of folding the molecule
is altered so much that the 3-dimensional shape of the hemoglobin
changes is no longer spherical. Instead the molecule takes on an
elongated structure resembling a sickle.
8
There are some proteins in which essentially all sites are
invariant. For example, histones which have at least 125 amino
acids in the peptide chain, have 122 invariant sites. Such
proteins are therefore exceedingly specific in the arrangement of
amino acids.
However, not all sites in all proteins are invariant. In many
proteins, there are sites where the amino acid can be replaced by
a number of other amino acids without affecting the functioning of
the protein. Yockey (Information Theory and Molecular Biology,
1992, Cambridge Univ. press, 408 pp; Table 6.3) discusses the
example of a particular protein (iso-1-cytochrome c, with 110
amino acids), with a list of all amino acids which are
functionally equivalent at each site. Some sites can have up to 13
different amino acids and still the protein retains functionality,
whereas others (the invariant sites) must contain one and only
particular amino acid in order to protect against protein
dysfunction.
At the primary level, the linear sequence of amino acids in a
protein is important to the proper operation of a living cell. But
in order to reach the final operating stage (which is fully threedimensional),
the creation of the “lego” blocks (i.e. stable and
reproducible secondary structure) is an essential intermediate
stage.
(d) How long are the secondary structures?
A central question in the present context is: what is the minimum
requirement for the “lego” blocks to be formed? What does it take
to be able to create the rigid sub-units which are used in making
the final protein? The answer is found in the quantum chemistry of
an alpha-helix and a beta-sheet: in principle, a sequence of at
least 4 amino acids is required in order to make the smallest
alpha helix (this allows for one complete turn of the helix). The
minimum size of a beta-sheet may be comparable.
However, the minimum size is not the only factor that is at work
in creating the “lego” blocks in proteins: the question of
stability also enters, because it is a fundamental requirement for
living cells that the secondary structures must be rigid.
Otherwise, the shapes of proteins in a cell would be subject to
chaotic fluctuations. Studies of reproducible structure of subsequences
in proteins suggests that chains of at least 7 amino
9
acids are required in order to create a stable and reproducible
“lego” (Sudarsanam and Srinivasan, 1996, abstract E0274, IUCR
Seattle meeting). It therefore seems unlikely that stable “lego”
blocks can be constructed with a chain that is less than 7 amino
acids long.
Now, the tertiary structure of a protein comes into existence only
if at least two stable “lego” blocks are joined together in a
reproducible 3-dimensional structure. (Many proteins require more
than 2 secondary structures: e.g. hemoglobin contains 4.) Thus,
the bare minimum requirement for a protein is that Na should be at
least twice the bare minimum needed for rigid and stable secondary
structure. According to the estimates of Sudarsanam and
Sreenivasan, this requires Na = Nmin = 14.
We emphasize that this assumption of a mere 14 amino acids in a
functioning protein is extreme. A protein with only 14 amino acids
is very short in terms of the proteins that exist either in the
modern world (e.g. insulin, with its 51 amino acids, and
hemoglobin, with its 574 amino acids), or even in ancient
proteins. For example, bacterial ferrodoxins, with at last 56
amino acids, “are believed to date nearly to the time of the
origin of life, and the histones which are also believed to be
ancient and have at least 125 amino acids” (Yockey, p. 143). Even
in the earliest stages of life on the planet, before the so-called
“breakthrough organism” had appeared, the proteins that might have
been operational back then have earned the title of “miniproteins
” because the number of amino acids they contained was
“perhaps 20 or shorter” (Maniloff, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,
vol. 93, p. 10004, 1996).
Computational attempts to “construct” proteins which are capable
of folding into a certain unique and stable tertiary structure
have been made by several groups. Dahiyat and Mayo (Science vol.
278, p. 82, 1997) found that, using only amino acids which occur
in modern nature, the shortest protein without sulfides or metals
that folds into a stable tertiary structure contains 25 amino
acids. An earlier computation (Struthers et al., Science vol. 271,
p. 342, 1996) had obtained a stable tertiary structure with a
chain of only 23 amino acids: however, one of the 23 was a nonnatural
amino acid. It seems that polypeptide chains with fewer
than 23-25 amino acids can probably not create the tertiary
structure which is key to protein function unless they are
assisted by sulfides or metals.
How far below the 23-25 limit can a functional protein go when
assisted by sulfides and metals? The answer is not clear. However,
10
it seems unlikely that the limit will be reduced below 14, which
is our limit based on the stability properties of at least two
“lego” pieces (alpha-helices and beta-sheets). In fact, in terms
of the thermal energy which is available, it is not clear that a
protein as short as 14 amino acids will be “foldable” or
“bendable” at temperatures where water is liquid.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of optimizing probabilities, we assume
that polypeptides in the primeval soup could indeed function as
proteins while containing no more than 14 amino acids.
5.2. What do we need to know about DNA?
DNA is a molecule that has the shape of a long twisted ladder (the
"double helix"). In this ladder, there are "rungs" connecting the
long "sidepieces". The "sidepieces" are long linear chains of
sugars and phosphates, while each "rung" is composed of two
interlocking bases. The four bases consist of two purines and two
pyrimidines. The bases in the ladder are arranged in a definite
order, just as amino acids are arranged in a definite order in a
protein.
When a cell wishes to reproduce a certain protein, the section (or
"gene") of DNA that is responsible for that protein must undergo a
well-defined process. First, the two bases that are interlocked in
each rung of the ladder in that section must be "unzipped" so as
to expose a sequence of bases. The exposed sequence then creates a
strip of RNA whose task is to assemble amino acids from the cell
medium in the correct order.
The order of the bases along the DNA “ladder” (or along the RNA
strip) is highly specific, just as the order of acids in the
protein is crucial for protein function. The change of even a
single base inside a gene may result in the creation of the wrong
protein, and the organism may die as a result. This indicates the
need for serious error-protection in the process of replication of
a cell.
6. Cell structure: high information content
Even a “simple” cell is a complicated system where chemicals of
various kinds operate in a synergistic way to provide various
functions that are essential to cell viability.
11
The outer wall (or membrane) provides the cell with its own
identity, and separates it from the rest of the world. Apart from
the membrane, i.e. inside the body of the cell itself, there are a
number of sub-systems that must run cooperatively in order to keep
the cell in operation. The most important chemicals are proteins
and the DNA that has the capacity to reproduce those proteins.
Some proteins provide the structural characteristics of the
different components of the cell. Some proteins serve as catalysts
in the various chemical reactions that keep the cell running.
There are also regulatory proteins which ensure that each protein
performs its function only in its proper location within the cell:
it would not do, e.g., to have energy generation occurring in the
cell membrane. In a multi-cell organism, these regulatory proteins
ensure that (e.g.) kidney cells do not grow in (say) the eye.
It is amazing that there is enough information in a linear object
(a DNA strand) to determine a three-dimensional object (a
protein). How is it that the sequence of bases in DNA instructs
the cell to make proteins, each of which is a “sentence” composed
of a specific sequence of various choices from a “vocabulary” of
the 20 (or so) amino acids which occur in modern proteins? (There
are many more amino acids in nature, but they are non-proteinous,
and we do not consider them here.) The beginnings of an answer
were first proposed by Gamow (1954: Nature 173, 318): there exists
a code which translates the information in the bases in DNA into
the amino acids in protein. This was an amazing insight on Gamow’s
part. As Yockey says (p. 4): “The idea…of a code is so
unconventional that had Gamow’s paper been submitted by almost
anyone else, it would most certainly have been rejected”.
The eventual identification of the code at the heart of biology is
a triumph of human ingenuity. The bases in DNA are now known to be
grouped into 64 “code words”, and the sequence of these words
contain the information which is eventually translated into the
20-letter vocabulary of proteinous amino acids.
A more difficult question to answer is: how do the amino acids
“understand” the “language” of the “words of information” that are
contained in the DNA? (For example, a string of letters may mean
one thing to a Frenchman, something else to a German, and nothing
at all to an Englishman.) It is not obvious that an answer has yet
been given to this question. It may in fact be the most difficult
question of all to answer. For example, Yockey (2000: Computers
and Chemistry 24, 105) argues that the answer may simply be beyond
the powers of human reasoning. In the present calculation, we do
not address the issue of the origin of the code. We merely assume
12
that the code is already in existence as a result of unspecified
processes in the early Earth.
Returning to a question about the links between DNA and protein
that can be answered, the distinction between 64 and 20 is
noteworthy and essential for living cells. In terms of coding
theory, the fact that 64 greatly exceeds 20 means that DNA code
has a lot of built-in redundancy: there are more code words (or
symbols) at the source (DNA) than at the destination (protein).
Coding theory proves that this redundancy of source relative to
destination is an essential feature of a code in order to protect
from errors in transmission. One of the theorems of coding theory
(Shannon’s channel capacity theorem) makes a strong statement
which at first sight appears counterintuitive (Yockey, p. 8): even
if there is noise in a message, the proper use of redundancy
allows one to extract the original message “with as small a
probability of error as we please”.
Therefore, if we were to attempt to construct a biological system
based on a code where redundancy is absent (and we shall mention
one such attempt in Section 19 below), the process of cell
replication would inevitably be prone to errors in transmission.
Since even a single error may prove to have mortal consequences
for a protein (and its host organism), it is hard to see how cells
that are subject to serious errors in replication could be
regarded as “living” in any meaningful sense.
The code words in DNA in the modern world consist of a series of
triplets of bases. Each triplet (written as ACG, or UGA, etc,
where each of the letters A, C, G, and U is the initial letter of
one of the 4 bases) encodes for a particular amino acid. There are
64 such triplets available as a source code. (We will consider
below the possibility that triplet codons were not necessary in
the primeval soup, but that doublet codons might have sufficed
then.)
If a cell contains a particular protein that is a chain of Na amino
acids in a certain sequence, then the DNA of that cell contains a
corresponding segment containing 3Na bases also arranged in a
sequence that exactly parallels the Na acids in the protein.
However, this is not all that is required for a gene. Since the
DNA consists of a long chain of bases, we need to ask: how does
the RNA know where to start “reading” the code for a particular
protein? The answer is: in the DNA itself, associated with each
gene, there must be a “start code” and a “stop code”. In fact, a
triplet of bases serves to encode START and another triplet to
13
encode STOP. (E.g., in modern cells, the triplet AUG encodes for
start, while stop has three possible codons: UAA, UAG, UGA.).
Therefore, although a strip of RNA needs to have 3Na bases in a
particular order, the gene (i.e. the corresponding piece of the
DNA) must have 3Na+6 bases in a particular order.
As an example, we note that among the shortest proteins that exist
in human beings, insulin contains 51 amino acids in a particular
order. Such a protein requires a sequence of 153 bases in human
DNA in a specific order, plus 6 bases for start and stop.

7. What does a cell need in order to function?
To determine the probability that the first cell was assembled
randomly, we first need to answer the following general question:
what is required in order to make a functional living cell?
In other words, what is the bare minimum number of proteins for a
cell to function at all? If we can answer this, it should help us
determine what the very first cell might have looked like.
As a first step in answering this, it is worthwhile to consider
the simplest known cell that exists in the world today. This is an
organism called "Mycoplasma genitalium" (MG) whose genetic
information is many times smaller than the information in the
human genome: the number of genes required for the functioning of
MG in its natural state is only 517. (Humans have tens of
thousands of genes.)
Recently, researchers have raised the interesting issue: are all
517 of these genes really necessary for MG to function properly?
The answer is No. By removing genes one at a time, researchers
have been able to show that the cell continues to function with
fewer than the total complement of 517. By eliminating more and
more of the genes, it has emerged that MG continues to function
normally as long as there are between 265 and 350 protein-coding
genes (see Hutchison et al., Science vol. 286, p. 2165, 1999). An
earlier estimate of the minimum cell size in nature had suggested
that the minimum number of proteins for cell operation might
indeed be about 250 (J. Maniloff, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol.
93, p, 10004, 1996).
It appears, then, that the simplest cell in the modern world
requires at least 250 proteins in order to survive in viable form.
Many of the 250 (or so) essential proteins in MG have identifiable
14
functions. Hutchison et al. list 13 categories of identified
functions in the MG genome: (1) cell envelope, (2) cellular
processes, (3) central intermediary metabolism, (4) co-factors and
carriers, (5) DNA metabolism, (6) energy metabolism, (7) fatty
acid metabolism, (8) nucleotides, (9) protein fate, (10) protein
synthesis, (11) regulatory functions, (12) transport/binding
proteins, and (13) transcription. Each of these 13 categories
contains multiple genes, so that (e.g.) protein synthesis does not
depend solely on a single protein for its operation: there are
backups and multiple redundancies in each category. For example,
some 19 proteins are used for membrane maintenance (category (1)).
About 150 of the MG proteins can be assigned with some confidence
to one of the 13 categories.
However, more than 100 of the MG genes perform functions that are
currently unidentified. Nevertheless, the cell certainly requires
them: without them, there is empirical proof that the cell fails
to function.
8. The first cells to appear on Earth: reducing the requirements
to an absolute minimum
It might be argued that the first cells to appear on Earth were
smaller than the simplest cells (such as MG) that exist in the
world today. Those primitive cells might have been able to operate
with many fewer proteins than the 265 needed by MG.
Although we will use this argument below, it is actually difficult
to substantiate. The mathematician John Von Neumann estimated the
bare necessities which are necessary in order to construct what he
referred to as “a self-replicating machine” (Theory of Self-
Reproducing Automata: Univ. of Illinois press, 1966). It has been
a popular exercise among science fiction writers to use this idea
in connection with how a civilization might colonize a galaxy by
sending out machines. Von Neumann concluded that the number of
parts in one such machine must be in the millions. Other authors
have reduced this estimate somewhat, but even according to the
most optimistic estimate, the numbers remain very large: the best
estimates suggest that there must be between 105 and 106 parts in a
self-replicating machine. This means that the genome needs at
least 105 bits in order to metabolize and replicate (Yockey, p.
334). Using the information content in a typical modern protein,
Yockey concludes that the original genome must have been able to
specify at least 267 proteins. The fact that this is close to the
minimum number required for a modern cell (such as MG) suggests
that one is not necessarily permitted to assume that the original
15
cell contained significantly fewer proteins than the smallest
modern cell.
Nevertheless, other authors have argued that the Von Neumann
approach is overly restrictive. E.g., Niesert (1987, origins of
Life 17, 155)) estimates that the first cell might have been able
to operate with as few as 300-400 amino acids.
Which of these various estimates of minimum requirements for the
first cell should we consider? There must be some absolute minimum
requirements for making even the simplest cell. For example, one
might argue that, among the 12 non-regulatory categories of gene
functions listed by Hutchison et al., one representative protein
should be present in the first cell. And each of these 12 proteins
should have an accompanying protein to serve in a regulatory role.
This line of reasoning would suggest that 24 proteins are a
minimum for cell operation.
Can we reduce this to an even barer minimum? Examples of minimum
cell requirements have been summarized by the paleontologist
George Gaylord Simpson. Of the 13 categories listed by Hutchison
et al, Simpson narrows down the bare minimum to the following: (i)
energy generation, (ii) storing information; (iii) replicating
information; (iv) an enclosure to prevent dispersal of the
interacting sub-structures; (v) digestion of food; (vi) waste
product ejection (Science vol. 143, p. 771, 1964).
In view of these bare-bones requirements, it is hard to imagine
how any cell could function without at least the following six
types of proteins: (i) those that help to digest food, (ii) those
that generate energy for cell operations, (iii) those that carry
away waste products, (iv) those that preserve and repair the cell
membrane, (v) those that determine when reproduction is to occur,
and (vi) those which actually catalyze the tasks of reproduction.
Corresponding to each of these six, there must be a regulatory
protein which ensures that the corresponding protein does not
“express itself” in the wrong location in the cell.
It is hard to imagine how a living cell would exist at all if it
failed to contain at least these 12 proteins.
The fact that the simplest cell in the modern world (MG) requires
265 proteins as a bare minimum in order to function makes our
estimate of 12 proteins look ridiculously small. But since it is
possible that the first living cells may have been much simpler
than those we find in the world today, let us make the (perhaps
16
absurdly reductionist) assumption that the first cells in fact
were able to operate on the basis of the bare minimum 12 proteins.
As an illustration of how reductionist our assumption is, we note
that in the first cell, we are assuming that a single protein is
responsible for ensuring proper functioning of the lipid membrane
of that cell. In contrast, the smallest known cell in the modern
world (MG) uses 19 genes to encode for lipoproteins (Hutchison et
al. Science vol. 286, p. 2166). The use of 19 genes in the modern
cell is an example of the large amount of redundancy that nature
uses to ensure that the membrane survives. But the first cell may
not have had the luxury of redundancy: it may have been forced to
survive using only one gene for its membrane. It would have been a
precarious existence.
We have argued that each protein must contain at least 14 amino
acids: thus our bare minimum cell, with 12 proteins and 14 amino
acids in each, contains 168 amino acids. This is even smaller than
the bare minimum of 300-400 amino acids described by Niesert
(1987, Origins of Life, 17, 155). The DNA of our minimal (12-14)
cell would contain only about 500 bases. This is 10 times shorter
than the genome of a certain virus (PHI-X 174) which transmits 9
proteins. It is widely believed that a virus cannot be regarded as
a “living cell” (it has no self-contained replication system), so
this again indicates the extreme nature of our assumption that the
first cell could have as few as 12 proteins. But let us proceed in
the spirit of optimizing the probability that the first cell
appeared by chance.
8.1. The first cell: putting the proteins together by chance
In the early Earth, the commonest concept of conditions back then
is that the primeval "soup" consisted of various chemicals that
were stirred up and forced into contact with one another as a
result of the forces of nature (including rain, ocean currents,
lightning). Simple chemical reactions in the soup were easily able
to create amino acids: these molecules are so small (containing no
more than 10-30 atoms each) that random processes can put them
together quickly from the abundant C, O, N, and H atoms in the
soup. As a result, we expect to find in the primeval soup, in
abundant supply, all of the 22 amino acids that occur in modern
life forms. (For the number 22, see Nature vol. 417, 478, 2002).
In fact, there are more than 100 amino acids in modern nature, but
only 22 are used in proteins. And of those 22, numbers 21 and 22
are rare. Most living material relies on only 20 of these amino
acids, and we will use that number here.
17
To be sure, the “primeval soup” hypothesis is not without its
opponents (e.g. Yockey, pp. 235-241). Laboratory experiments which
claim to replicate conditions in the primeval Earth generate not
only amino acids but also a tarry substance (as the principal
product). This substance should have survived as a non-biological
kerogen in ancient sedimentary rocks, but no evidence for this has
been found. It should not be surprising that, in the primeval
soup, other amino acids, not currently used in life forms, could
have been formed. (This would include the acids that are used in
nylon.) And each of the amino acids which are created randomly in
the primeval soup would be created in two forms: the D-variety and
the L-variety. (These varieties refer to the ability of the
molecule to rotate the polarization of light either right or left:
this ability depends on the chirality of the molecule, i.e. on the
handedness of its 3-dimensional structure.) For reasons that are
not yet obvious, only one of these varieties (the L-variety) is
actually used in present-day life forms. However, the basic
property of amino acids, that they polymerize, operates only
between L alone or D alone: when an L and a D amino acid combine,
their opposite chirality has the effect of locking out any
possibility of further polymerization.
Another difficulty of a very different nature has to do with
reactions in an aqueous solution. The very process of assembling
amino acids into a polypeptide chain (so as to make a protein)
requires the removal of H from the amino radical and the removal
of OH from the acid radical: it is not obvious how these
constituents of a water molecule can be removed in an aqueous
solution.
Despite these difficulties with the primeval soup hypothesis, the
idea of the soup is so widespread in textbooks that it is a
natural starting point for an optimized estimate of probabilities.
In the spirit of the present approach (where we do whatever we can
to optimize the chances of assembling the first cell randomly), we
will simply go along with the textbooks. We shall assume that the
formation of the first cell in the early Earth began in liquid
water where only 20 L-amino acids need to be taken into account.
Other simple chemical reactions in the soup also give rise more or
less quickly to the four bases (two purines and two pyrimidines)
that form the "rungs" of DNA. Why are these formed relatively
readily? Because each base consists on no more than 13-16 atoms,
random processes can also assemble these bases rapidly from the
abundant C, O, N, and H atoms. It was probably more difficult to
form pyrimidines than purines, but the principle is robust:
18
formation of small molecules is essentially inevitable in the
early Earth.
In order for the first cell to come into existence, at least 12
proteins, each with Na amino acids in a specific order, had to
emerge in the same patch of the "primeval soup". To be sure,
individual proteins were probably emerging at random at many
places around the world. But if our aim is to form a complete
living cell, it will not help if the membrane protein emerged (at
random) in China, the energy protein in Russia, and the
replication protein in South America. That will not do: the only
way to have the first cell develop is if all 12 proteins emerge in
close enough proximity to one another to be contained within a
single membrane.
How might this have happened in random processes? By way of
example, let us consider one particular protein, in which the
chain of amino acids happens to be denoted by the series of
letters ABCDEFGHIJKLMN. In order that this protein be made by
chance, amino acid E (say) (one of the 20 commonest in nature)
might have started off by entering into a chemical reaction with
amino acid F (another of the 20), such that the two found it
possible to become connected by a peptide bond. Then amino acid D
might have had a chemical reaction so as to join onto the EF pair
at the left end, forming DEF by means of a new peptide bond. Note
that it is important to form DEF rather than EFD, which would be a
very different protein. This process presumably continued until
the entire 14-unit protein chain ABCDEFGHIJKLMN was complete.
8.2. The first cell: putting the DNA/RNA together by chance
It is not enough to assemble 12 proteins to have a functional
living cell: the cell must be able to reproduce, and for that
the cell needs DNA (or at least RNA). In order to ensure
reproduction of the cell, there had to be (also in the same patch
of the primeval soup) at least 12 genes on an RNA strand, each
containing 3Na+6 bases in a specific order.
Thus, in the very same patch of "soup" where the protein
ABCDEFGHIJ formed by chance, a strand of RNA must have been formed
where the three bases that encode for amino acid A were joined in
a specific order along the RNA strip by a series of chemical
reactions. Then the three bases that encode for amino acid B had
to be added in a specific order to the sidepieces, right next to
the three bases that encode for A. This process must have
continued until the triplets of bases that encode for each of C,
D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N respectively were assembled in
19
a specific order into a chain of 30 bases. There would also be one
triplet at each end of the 30-base sequence to serve as markers
for start and stop. This 36-base sequence would then form the gene
for the first protein in the first cell.
Now that we know how the first proteins and RNA/DNA were put
together, we are in a position to estimate the probability that
this will occur by random processes.
9. Probability of protein formation at random
In the example given above, we recall that amino acid (say) E is
only one of 20 amino acids that exist in living matter. Amino acid
F is also one of 20. Therefore, a process that successfully forms
the sequence EF at random out of a soup where all amino acids are
present in equal abundances, has a probability p2 which is roughly
equal to (1/20) times (1/20) = 1/400.
Actually, however, pre-living matter contains not only the Lvariety
of each amino acid, but also the D-variety. Therefore, a
better estimate of the probability p2 that the correct pair of Lamino
acids be formed is (1/40) times (1/40), i.e. p2 = 1/1600.
However, once an L-acid unites with a D-acid, the opposite nature
of their chiralities leads to a “lock-out”: no further
polymerization is possible. So we will optimize probability by
assuming that only the L-variety is present. We therefore take p2 =
1/400.
Another way to state this result is that if we wish to create the
combination EF (both L-variety) by chance, the number of chemical
reactions that must first occur between amino acids in the
primeval soup is about 1/p2, or about 400. That is, if we allow so
much time to elapse that 400 reactions can occur in the primeval
soup, then there is a high probability (close to a certainty) that
the combination EF will appear simply at random.
This argument assumes that the only amino acids in the primeval
soup are the 20 which occur in modern living organism. However,
there were certainly other non-biological amino acids available.
As a result, many more than 400 reactions was almost certainly
required before the combination EF appeared at random. However, we
will optimize the chances for random assembly of the first cell by
ignoring the non-biological amino acids.
After creating EF by random processes, the next step is to have
the next amino acid to join the chain be the L-variety of (say) G,
i.e. only 1 out of the 20 types available. Then the probability
20
that the three amino acids EFG will be assembled in the correct
order is about (1/20)3.
Continuing this all the way through a sequence of Na amino acids
in a protein, the chance f1 of correctly picking (at random) all
the necessary amino acids to create one particular protein is
roughly equal to (1/20) raised to the power Na. This corresponds to
f1 = (1/10)x where x = 1.3Na. Actually, to the extent that some
amino acids may be replaced by others without affecting the
functionality of the protein, the above expression for f1 is a
lower limit. (We will allow for this later in this section.)
Yockey (p. 73) shows that instead of 20N for the value of 1/f1, a
more accurate estimate is 2NH where H is the mean value of a
quantity known as the Shannon entropy of the 20-acid set (see
below). In the limit where all amino acids have equal probability
of being encoded, and are equally probable at all sites in the
protein, 2NH turns out (from the definition of H) to be equal to
20N . In all other cases, 2NH is less than 20N. This returns us to
the previous conclusion: the above expression for f1 is a lower
limit on the true value.
Suppose that the particular protein with probability f1 has been
formed in a particular patch of the primeval soup. Then in order
to form a single cell (with at least 12 proteins as a bare minimum
to function), eleven more proteins must also be formed in the same
patch of soup, in close enough proximity to one another to be
contained within a single membrane. Each of these proteins also
has a certain number of amino acids: for simplicity let us assume
that all have length Na.
The overall probability f12 that all twelve proteins arise as a
result of random processes is the product of the probability for
the twelve separate proteins. That is, f12 is roughly equal to f112,
i.e. f12 is roughly (1/10)y where y = 15.6Na.
We can now quantify the claim that the first cell was assembled by
random processes. If the first cell consisted of only the bare
minimum 12 proteins, and if each of these proteins was uniquely
suited to its own task, the probability that these particular 12
proteins will be formed by random processes in a given patch of
primeval soup is f12.
Now let us turn to the fact that a protein may remain functional
even if a certain amino acid is replaced with another one.
(Obviously, we are not referring to invariant sites here.) For
example, it may be that the protein which we have specified as the
one that is responsible for (say) energy generation in the cell is
21
not unique. There may exist other groupings of amino acids which
also have the shape and properties that enable the task of energy
production for the cell. Maybe the others are not as efficient as
the first one, but let us suppose that they have enough efficiency
to be considered as possible candidates for energy production in
the first cell. Then we need to ask: how many energy-producing
proteins might there be in the primeval soup?
It is difficult to tell: in principle, if Na has the value 14
(say), then one could examine the molecular structure of all 14-
amino acid proteins (of which there are some 2014 , i.e. 1018.2 if
all amino acids are equally probable) and identify which ones
would be suitable for performing the energy task. Presumably there
must be some specificity to the task of energy production:
otherwise, a protein which is supposed to perform the task of
(say) waste removal might suddenly start to perform the task of
(say) membrane production in the wrong part of the cell.
Therefore, it is essential for stable life-forms that not all
available proteins can perform all of the individual tasks.
Suppose the number of alternate energy-producers Q is written as
10q. In a world where all proteins have Na = 14, the absolute
maximum value that q can have is qmax = 18.2. This is the total
number of discrete locations in the “14-amino acid phase space”.
In the real world, a more realistic estimate of qmax would be
smaller than the above estimate. First, not all amino acids have
equal probability of being encoded: there are more codons in the
modern genetic code for some amino acids than for others. (E.g.,
Leu, Val, and Ser have 6 codons each, whereas 10 others have only
2 codons each.) When these are allowed for in the probability
distribution, it is found that the “effective number” of amino
acids in the modern world is not 20 but 17.621 (Yockey, p. 258).
Thus, with Na = 14, a more accurate estimate of qmax(eff) is 17.4
(rather than 18.2).
As a result, in the real world, qmax(eff) may be considerably
smaller than 18.2. However, in the spirit of optimizing
probabilities, let us continue to use the value 18.2.
The requirement that some specificity of task persists among
proteins requires that the value of q must certainly not exceed
qmax. At the other extreme, in a situation where each protein is
uniquely specified, q would have the value qmin = 0 (so that one
and only one protein could perform the task of energy production).
22
Now we can see that our estimate of f12 needs to be altered. We
were too pessimistic in estimating f12 above. Each factor f1 needs
to be multiplied by 10q. For simplicity, let us assume that q has
the same value for each of the 12 proteins in the cell. Then the
revised value of f12 is 1/10z where
z = 15.6Na - 12q . (eq. 1)
This result applies to a cell with 12 proteins, each composed of
amino acids chosen from a set of 20 distinct entries.
10. Random formation of DNA/RNA

The first cell could NOT have functioned if it consisted only of
proteins. In order to merit the description living, the cell must
also have had the ability to reproduce. That is, it must also have
had the correct DNA to allow all 12 proteins to be reproduced by
the cell.
In order to estimate the probability of assembling a piece of DNA
by random processes, we can follow the same argument as for
proteins, except that now we must pick from the available set of 4
bases.
Repeating the arguments given above, we see that for each protein
which contains Na amino acids in a certain sequence (plus one start
and one stop), there must exist in the DNA a strip of B = 3Na+6
bases in a corresponding sequence. If we pick bases at random from
a set of 4 possibilities, the probability of selecting the correct
sequence for a particular protein is (1/4)B. Therefore, the
probability of selecting the correct sequences for all twelve
proteins, if each protein is unique, is (1/4)D where D = 36Na + 72.
Writing this with the symbol fRNA, we see that fRNA is equal to
(1/10)E where
E = 21.7Na + 43.3. (eq. 2)
Again, however, if instead of unique proteins for each task, there
are 10q proteins available to perform each task in the cell, then
we must increase the above value of fRNA to 10-G where
G = 21.7Na + 43.3 - 12q. (eq. 3)

23
11. Probability of random formation of a complete cell
Since both the RNA and all 12 proteins have to be formed in the
same patch of primeval soup in order to form a viable cell, the
probability fcell that random processes will perform both tasks in
the same patch of soup will be the combination of the separate
probabilities. That is, fcell is roughly equal to fp X fRNA, i.e.
about 10-J where
J = 37.3Na + 43.3 - 24q. (eq. 4)
Therefore, once enough time elapsed in the primeval soup to
allow the chemicals there to undergo a certain number of
reactions, R12p = 1/fcell, there would be a high probability (in
fact, a near certainty) that the proteins and the requisite DNA
for a (12-14) cell could indeed have been assembled by chance in
the primeval soup.
In order to optimize the chances of forming the first cell, we
ask: is it possible to find ways to make R12p smaller than the
above estimate? The answer depends on the theory that one adopts
for the development of the first cell.
Suppose one were to theorize that the only thing one would have to
provide to get the first cell going was the RNA containing the
genetic code for the 12 proteins. (It might be beneficial if the
RNA could catalyze its own replication: however, this is not
altogether desirable, since it leads to possibilities of ‘‘errorcatastrophes
” [Niesert et al. 1987, J. Mol. Evol., 17, 348].)
According to the "RNA-first theory", one would not have to "wait
around" for proteins to be constructed by random reactions in the
primeval soup. Instead, once strips of RNA were formed (as a
result of random processes), DNA could be assembled from the RNA
strips. At that point, proteins should be reproduced more or less
automatically, apart from the necessity of certain enzymes
(proteins) to catalyze the "unzipping" of the DNA itself, and to
catalyze the collection and assemblage of the amino acids.
In order to optimize the chances of cell formation at random, let
us assume that the unzipping can be done with the help of a single
protein, and that the collection and assemblage of amino acids can
also be done with a single protein. (This is a far cry from the
modern world, where multiple proteins exist in even the simplest
cell to perform each task.) Then the first cell will require the
RNA to be assembled by chance (with probability fRNA, as given
above) plus just two proteins (with probability f2) also assembled
24
by chance. If this theory is correct, then R12p(RNA-first) would be
equal to 10K where
K = 24.3Na + 43.3 – 14q. (eq. 5)
This may provide a substantial reduction below the original
estimate of R12p.
Should we also consider the obvious alternative to the RNA-first
theory? That is, should we also consider the “protein-first”
theory? The answer is no, provided that the modern genetic code is
at work. The structure of the modern genetic code is such that,
according to the Central Dogma, proteins do not pass on
information to DNA: the flow of information goes only from DNA (or
RNA) to protein, and not the reverse. As Yockey (2000) puts it,
“The origin of life [as we currently know it] cannot be based on
‘protein-first’.” However, the “protein-first” theory may need to
be considered when we consider a certain “window of opportunity”
in the early Earth (see Section 19).
Because we now know how many reactions are required in order to
create the first simplest possible cell, we are in a position to
test the evolutionary claim that the first cell was assembled
randomly. To do this, we proceed to the crucial question that is
at the heart of the present argument. This question, and its
detailed answer, is the subject of the next section.

12. How many reactions occurred in the primeval soup?

Is random assembly of the first cell possible? To address this, we
need to answer the following question: How many chemical reactions
(of the sort we are interested in) actually occurred in the
primeval soup during the first 1.11 billion years?
We will not be surprised to find that the number of reactions nr
is a "large" number (in some sense). Nevertheless, nr is a finite
number.
Once we obtain nr, we can then estimate how large the value of q
must be in order that the probability of randomly assembling the
first cell of order unity. That is, we will equate nr to 10J (or to
10K, if we accept the "RNA-first theory"), and solve for q,
assuming that Na is at least as large as 14. The value of q which
we obtain from this estimate will be labelled qra to denote that
this is how large q must be in order that random assembly of the
first cell in the primeval soup becomes essentially certain.
25
We are interested in chemical reactions involving amino acids or
bases. To proceed with this discussion, we need to consider in
detail what happens during such a reaction. The most basic
requirement of a chemical reaction is the following: the two
reacting molecules must at the very least come close enough to
each other to have a collision. However, the very fact that two
molecules collide does not guarantee that a reaction will occur.
The reaction is controlled by many factors, e.g. the energy
involved, the angle of the encounter, the removal of by-products,
etc. As a result of these factors, many collisions may occur
before even a single reaction occurs. This explains why it is so
difficult to manufacture (e.g.) nylon: the creation of the peptide
bonds that hold nylon together (exactly equivalent to those which
hold proteins together) requires careful quality control. The
quality control which the DuPont engineers are forced to impose in
order to create nylon was certainly not available in the primeval
soup: therefore, the efficiency of the reactions which led to
peptide bonds (i.e. proteins) in the primeval soup was almost
certainly very small.
In view of this, we can derive an absolutely firm (and probably
very generous) upper limit on the number of two-body reactions n2
that occurred between two amino acids during any time interval by
calculating the number of collisions ncoll that occurred between
those two amino acids during that interval. In practice, n2 is
probably orders of magnitude smaller than ncoll. The purpose of a
catalyst is of course to increase n2 as much as possible: however,
even with a “perfect” catalyst, n2 can never exceed ncoll .
So let us turn to estimating ncoll. This number, which is “large”
but finite, will provide us with a firm piece of quantitative
evidence that will allow us to test the assertion that the first
cell was assembled randomly.

13. Collisions between amino acids in the primeval soup
We begin the calculation of ncoll by estimating the mean time tc
that elapses between successive collisions of molecule A with
molecule B. The general formula for tc is straight-forward. Let us
consider molecule A as the projectile, and molecule B as the
target. If projectile A moves with mean speed v cm/sec through an
ambient medium where there are nt target molecules per cubic
26
centimeter, then tc equals 1/(v nt A) seconds. Here, A is the area
(in square centimeters) presented by the target molecule.
13.1 Mean time interval between collisions
Let us now estimate the three quantities that enter into tc.
First, the area A. Amino acids and bases in nature have linear
dimensions of a few Angstroms (where 1 Angstrom = 10-8 cm).
Therefore, a typical amino acid or base molecule has A equal to
about 10-15 sq. cm.
Second, as regards v, there is a standard formula for the mean
speed of the molecules in a medium at temperature T: v2 = RgT/m
where Rg is the gas constant (= 8.3 X 107 ergs/degree/gram) and m
is the molecular weight. Amino acids and bases have m = 100 or so.
Moreover, living cells require liquid water in order to survive:
this means that T must be in the range 273-373 degrees Kelvin.
Taking an average value for T of about 300 K, we find that v for
the molecules in which we are interested here is about 104 cm/sec.
Even if we consider the extremely hot conditions at the ocean
bottom, near the hot thermal vents, where temperatures may be as
large as 1000 K, this will increase our estimate of v by a factor
of no more than 2. This will have no significant effect on our
conclusions below.
Third, as regards nt, we note that at the present time, the total
mass of living organisms on Earth is Mliving = 3.6 X 1017 grams (see
http://www.ursa.fi/mpi/earth/index.html). In the early Earth,
before the first cell appeared, the mass of living material was by
definition zero. But there were amino acids and bases present in
the primeval soup. So in order to optimize the chances of cell
formation, let us make a second gross assumption: let us assume
that all of the mass that is now in living organisms was already
present in the primeval soup in the form of amino acids (if we
wish to assemble proteins) or bases (if we wish to assemble RNA).
With a molecular weight of about 100, each amino acid (or base)
has a mass maa of about 1.7 10-22 grams. Therefore, the total number
ntotal of amino acids (or bases) in the primeval soup was of order
Mliving/maa. With this assumption, we find ntotal = 2 X 1039.
Naturally, this estimate is quite uncertain. Other estimates of
this number are larger. E.g. Bar-Nun and Shaviv (Icarus 24, 197,
1975) estimate 5.4 X 1041, while Shklovskii and Sagan (1966
Intelligent Life in the Universe) estimated 1044. We shall see
that our results are only slightly affected by these
uncertainties.
27
Finally, to derive nt in the primeval soup, we need to divide ntotal
by the volume of the material where living material existed on the
early Earth. In the present Earth, the volume of the biosphere is
of order 1019-20 cubic cm. However, life probably started in
particular locations, and so the relevant volume of the primeval
soup was probably much smaller. Let us suppose that the early
Earth had a biosphere with a volume that was 10-100 times smaller
than it is at present. (This putative decrease in volume will help
to speed up reactions.) That is, let us suppose that all of the
amino acids which now are present in living matter on Earth were
concentrated in the primeval soup into a favored volume of only
1018 cubic cm. Combining this with our estimate of ntotal, we see
that the mean density of amino acids in the favored volume of the
primeval soup nt could have been about 2 X 1021 per cubic cm.
Is this a reasonable value? To answer this, we note that this
value of nt corresponds to a mean mass density of 0.34 gram/cubic
cm for the amino acids in the primeval soup. This density is very
high (the molar concentration is about 0.1): it is questionable
whether such a high density of amino acids could ever have been
dissolved in water. This estimate of mass density is certainly
close to the upper limit possible: it could hardly have been any
higher. In order to remain dissolved in water (with mean density 1
gram/cubic cm), the mass density of amino acids can certainly not
exceed the density of water. Therefore, our estimate of the upper
limit on nt is not unreasonable as we try to optimize the chances
of randomly assembling a cell. (If we were to use Bar-Nun and
Shaviv’s estimate of the total number of amino acids, we would
need to dilute them by dissolving them in at least 100 times more
volume than we used above in order to keep the mean density less
than that of water. With Shklovskii and Sagan’s estimate, the
volume must be larger still by a further factor of 200.) The
actual value of nt in the primeval soup was probably orders of
magnitude less than the estimate given above. Maximum molar
concentrations of amino acids in the primeval soup have been
estimated to be as low as 10-7 or 10-8 (Hulett 1969 J. Theor. Biol.
24 56; Dose, 1975, Biosystems 6, 224). Thus, our estimates of nt
are probably too large by 6 or 7 orders of magnitude. However, in
the spirit of optimizing the chances of making a cell, let us use
the above upper limit as the value of nt.
Now we have all of the ingredients we need to calculate tc, the
mean time between collisions in the primeval soup. We find tc = 5 X
10-11 seconds.
13.2. Number of collisions by a single amino acid in 1.11 b.y.
28
Now that we know the mean interval between collisions, we see that
in the primeval soup, a given amino acid experienced 2 X 1010
collisions every second as an upper limit. Therefore, each amino
acid experienced no more than 2 X 1010 reactions every second with
other amino acids.
How many collisions did an amino acid experience in the primeval
soup in the course of a time interval of 1.11 billion years, i.e.
in the 3.5 X 1016 seconds before the first cell appeared on Earth?
The answer is straightforward. Multiplying the above reaction rate
by the number of seconds available, we find that each amino acid
in the primeval soup experienced at most nr(1) = 7 X 1026 reactions
with other amino acids before the first cell appeared on Earth.
13.3. Total number of collisions between amino acids in 1.11 b.y.

Finally, we ask: what was the total number of reactions between
amino acids that occurred in the primeval soup before the first
cell appeared? The answer is again straightforward: since each
amino acid experienced nr(1) in that time, and since there were
ntotal amino acids in the primeval soup, the total number of
reactions nr between amino acids was about 1065 before the first
cell appeared.
This is a "large" number. But it is finite.
Moreover, we have artificially forced nr to be as large as possible
by making four extreme assumptions. (i) Every collision produces a
peptide-bonding reaction. (ii) The mass of pre-biotic material was
as large in the primeval soup as it is in today’s biomass. (iii)
The entire biomass in the primeval soup was in the form of amino
acids (or bases). (iv) All amino acids were concentrated in pools
where their mass density could build up to the maximum permissible
value. In the real primeval soup, conditions might have been such
that any or all of these assumptions could have failed by several
orders of magnitude. (In particular, (iv) almost certainly failed
by 6-7 orders of magnitude, and (i) almost certainly failed by
several orders of magnitude because of reaction kinetics.)
Therefore, it is highly likely that the actual total number of
collisions which occurred in the primeval soup before the first
cell appeared could have been 10 or more orders of magnitude less
than 1065.
Of course, our estimates refer to our estimates of the biomass
only, and also to binary collisions only. If we were to use the
estimates of Bar-Nun and Shaviv or of Shlokskii and Sagan, the
number densities per unit volume nt cannot exceed the value we have
29
already used above. Therefore, there will be no change in the
number of collisions per second. But the total number of
collisions would increase by 2-5 orders of magnitude above our
estimate.
For the sake of argument, let us assume that these other processes
compensated for orders of magnitude deficits associated with the
extreme assumptions (i)-(iv) above. That is, we will assume in
what follows that nr was indeed of order 1065. This appears to be a
very generous estimate of the total number of reactions in the
primeval soup.

14. Random production of the first cell
We are now in a position to estimate probabilities for randomly
assembling the first cell.
Let us return to our estimate of the number of reactions that were
necessary to create the first cell by random processes. In order
to create a cell containing 12 proteins with chains of N = Na amino
acids each, we recall that R12p was required to be 10J (where J is
given in eq. (4) above) if proteins and RNA were both assembled at
random.
However, if we accept the "RNA-first theory", we recall that the
number of reactions R12p(RNA-first) was "only" 10K (where K is given
in eq. (5) above).
Now that we know how many reactions actually did occur in the
primeval soup before the first cell appeared, we can equate nr
to the above values of R12p in order to determine how large qra must
have been in order to have reasonable probability of assembling
the first cell at random.
Setting R12p equal to nr, we find that the value of qra required for
random assembly of the first cell must satisfy the equation
37.3Na +43.3 -24qra = 65 (eq. 6)
if proteins and RNA were assembled together. On the other hand, if
we accept the RNA-first theory, then we find
24.3Na +43.3 -14q(RNA)ra = 65. (eq. 7)
30
As mentioned above, the value of Na is no less than 14. Inserting
Na = 14 in eq. (6) and (7) leads to qra = 20.8 or q(RNA)ra = 22.8.
The numerical value of qra increases linearly with the value of Na,
increasing by 1.7 for each unit increase in Na. However, qra is not
sensitive to the number of proteins in the cell. Moreover, qra is
not sensitive to errors in our estimates of the number of
collisions in the primeval soup: even if our estimated number of
collisions is wrong by factors of (say) one million times too
large or too small, our estimates of qra would change by only plus
or minus 0.4.
The above estimates of qra emerge from the two basic points of our
argument: (i) a finite time was available for chemical reactions
to operate, and (ii) a cell cannot function as a truly living
organism with less than the bare minimum of 12 proteins.
However, as we saw in Section 9 above, the total number of all
available proteins in the Na = 14 world is such that q has
certainly a maximum value qmax = 18.2. (The actual maximum would be
smaller than this for the reasons discussed in Section 9 above,
but let us continue to optimize the case for random assembly and
retain qmax = 18.2.) We see that the value of qra that is required
to ensure random assembly of the first cell is larger than qmax.
However, it is formally impossible for q to have a value in excess
of qmax: qra cannot exceed qmax even in optimal conditions. If qra is
equal to, or larger than, qmax it implies that every available
protein in the primeval soup must have been capable of performing
the task of every other protein. This indicates a serious lack of
specificity of tasks in the cell.
This conclusion does not depend sensitively on the choice of Na. If
functioning proteins actually require Na to be as large as (say) 20
(such as the mini-proteins referred to by Maniloff), we would find
q(RNA)ra = 33. However, the total number of proteins in an Na = 20
world would be of order 2020 , i.e. qmax = 26. The value of q(RNA)ra
again exceeds qmax, and so the conclusion about non-specificity
still applies.

15. Do proteins in the primeval soup have specific tasks?

The result that qra has a value in excess of qmax has significant
implications. It implies that there are no distinguishing
properties between proteins: each protein would have had the
31
ability to perform the task of all the other functional proteins
in the first cell. If that were to be the case, then there would
be no way to regulate the various distinct groups of cell
operations: replication could occur in the membrane, or membrane
generation could occur in the energy generation sites.
However, the nature of a cell requires that proteins have clearly
defined and distinctly specific functions. That is, not all
proteins must be capable of (say) membrane production: only a
fraction F (<1) of the proteins must have this capability.
What is a likely value for F? At one extreme, the smallest value F
can have is Fmin = 1/Qmax. Writing F = 10-f, this means that the
maximum possible value of f is fmax = qmax. In this limit, protein
specificity would be maximized: there would then be one and only
one protein out of the Qmax distinct proteins which could perform
any one of the basic tasks of the cell. In such a case, all 14
amino acids in each protein would be an invariant site, forbidding
any substitutions.
This extreme specificity is not true of most modern proteins:
typically, only a subset of sites are invariant. E.g., Yockey
(Table 6.3) discusses a 110-acid protein in which only 14 sites
are invariant. At the remaining 96 sites, a number of other amino
acids (from 2 to 19) may be substituted without degrading
significantly the functioning of the protein. The amino acids
which are functionally acceptable at a site are those which do not
impede the folding process or the biochemical requirements of the
protein. Because of these possibilities for substitution, the
probability of randomly “finding” a functional protein in “aminoacid
phase space” may be much improved over what one might expect
on the basis of the value of Qmax alone. Yockey (p. 254) describes
in detail how to compute the probability factor 2HN when one knows
how many different amino acids can be substituted at each site.
For the 110-acid protein discussed by Yockey, the improvement in
probability is enormous (from 1 in 10137 to 1 in 1093). It is not
clear how much improvement will occur in a small protein, where
there are only 14 amino acids. For the latter, the phase space is
limited to 1018.2. The 3-dimensional folding of such a small protein
might be quite sensitive to amino acid substitutions, more so than
for a larger protein. If this is true, then the improvement factor
might be quite small.
At the opposite extreme, F can certainly not exceed Fmax = 1/12 if
we are to preserve the distinction of 12 separate proteins for
each of the cell’s tasks. The limit F = 1/12 represents the
32
minimum possible protein specificity. This means that f cannot
have a value less than 1.08 in a cell with Np = 12 proteins.
In fact, it is probable that F is much smaller than 1/12. If F
were as large as 1/12, the prognosis for cell survival would be
slim: a single point mutation could convert (say) a membraneproducer
in any particular cell into (say) a waste management
protein. If this were to happen, the cell and its progeny could
hardly expect to survive for long.
This suggests that, in order to ensure long life for the cell, the
value of F should be much smaller than 1/12. How small might F be?
Let us introduce a “protein specificity index” m such that
F=(1/12)m, i.e. f = 1.08m. With this definition, the minimum value
that m can have is mmin = 1 (the minimum permissible specificity).
Values of m in the range (say) m = 3-4 represent conditions where
protein functions are only marginally specific. The maximum value
that m can have is mmax = qmax/1.08: in the example given above where
qmax = 18.2, mmax would have a value of about 16.9. In the limit m =
mmax, every protein performs a unique task.
With this well-defined range of the m parameter, we may usefully
refer to an “average specificity index” mav = (mmin + mmax)/2. With
the values just cited, we find mav is about 9. High specificities
can be considered as those with m values in excess of mav. Low
specificities are those with m values less than mav.

16. What are the chances of creating the first functioning cell
randomly?
The fact that the factor F departs from unity has the effect that
the Q factor which we used above in estimating the probability of
random formation of the first cell must be replaced by the product
FQmax. The quantity q in our earlier estimates must be replaced by
qmax-f where f cannot be less than 1.08.
In view of this, if we adopt the “RNA-first” theory, the necessary
number of reactions for random assembly of the first cell is 10L
where
L = 24.3Na + 43.3 –14(qmax - f). (eq. 8)
Setting Na = 14, the chance Pr of random assembly of the first cell
in the first 1.11 billion years of Earth’s existence (during which
time there were at most 1065 reactions) is one in 10b where
b = 14(f - qmax + qra ). (eq. 9)
33
With f=1.08m, and qra – qmax = 4.6, the chance Pr is about one in
1015m+64.4. Since m cannot be less than 1, Pr is certainly less than
one in 1079. If m takes on its average value mav = 9, Pr decreases
to 1 in 10200. Even if m takes on values that are much smaller than
mav (say 2-3), the probability Pr amounts to only one in 1094-109.
Note that the exponent b increases rapidly as Na increases: both
qra and qmax are proportional to Na. As a result, if we increase Na
to (say) 21, we would find that qra – qmax would increase from 4.6
to 6.9. Then even with m = 1 (its lowest value), exponent b
exceeds 100.
Even if we were to allow for a much older Earth, with an age of
(say) 100 billion years, the number 65 in our formula for qra would
increase only to 67. This would lead to a reduction of only 0.14
in qra in the “RNA-first scenario”. This would increase the chance
of random cell assembly, but even in the best possible case (m=1),
Pr would still be no better than one part in 1077.
The result Pr < 10-79 applies to a cell consisting of only the
absolute minimum set of Np = 12 proteins. Such a cell is extremely
small compared to the smallest known cell in the modern world
(where Np = 250). What if the minimum number of proteins in a
functional cell is 30 or 50 or 100? In such cases, the requirement
of specificity of protein function has the effect that the factor
F must be smaller than 1/Np , i.e. the exponent f must exceed
log(Np). In terms of the protein specificity index m,
f = m log(Np), (eq. 10)
where m cannot be less than 1. In view of this, the probability of
random assembly of the first cell is one in 10b where
b = (Np+2)[mlog(Np) – qmax + qra ]. (eq. 11)
Therefore, if the first cell required (say) 30 proteins to become
operational, the chance of assembling its RNA at random in the
primeval soup after 1065 collisions is less than one in 1047m+147.
The exponent in this result rapidly becomes large even if we allow
for only marginal specificity. For example, if m has a value of 2,
Pr is less than one in 10240. And if m is set equal to its average
value mav = 9, Pr falls to less than one in 10570.
If the modern genetic code was operative in the first primitive
cell (much smaller than the smallest cell in today’s world), the
above numbers are mathematical statements of the chances that the
34
RNA for the first cell was assembled by random processes. It is
clear that the probabilities are extremely small. We stress that
we have optimized a number of parameters in estimating the above
probabilities.

17. What about doublet-codons?

We can improve the situation for random assembly of the first cell
by considering the following possibility: suppose that, by some
means, the proteins in the first cell were assembled from a
smaller set of distinct amino acids than the Naa = 20 which exist
in nature today.
To be specific, let us suppose that the number of distinct amino
acids which were used in the first cell was as small as Naa = 5. It
is not obvious that functional proteins could actually exist with
such a small “vocabulary” of amino acids. However, it has been
claimed that protein folding is possible with as few as 5 distinct
amino acids (Riddle et al. 1997). Therefore, consideration of this
case probably does not violate any of the constraints of physical
chemistry. It also does not violate any of the limitations of
information theory: the quaternary genetic code might have begun
as a “first extension” using doublet codons (Yockey, p. 188).
(Vestiges of this early code might still exist in modern
mitochondria.) Doublet codons might have encoded for as few as 4-5
proteins (see Yockey, Table 7.1).
The major change in our calculation in this case is that the
codons in the RNA would no longer need to consist of triplets of
bases. Assuming that there are still 4 bases to use for RNA
coding, doublets would suffice to provide unique encoding for all
5 amino acids (plus a start and a stop code). Of course, one might
suspect that in a world where the number of useful amino acids has
been reduced from 20 to 5, there might also be a reduction in the
number of useful bases. For example, if there were only 2 useful
bases (i.e. if the genetic code were ever binary consisting of one
purine and one pyrimidine, a possibility discussed by Yockey (p.
184), then triplet codons would still be needed even to encode for
Naa = 5. In this case, we would return to the estimates derived
above for the triplet codon world. If there were 3 useful bases
available, doublet codons would suffice to encode for up to Naa = 7
(plus a start and stop code).
However, to optimize chances for random assembly, let us assume
that all 4 of the modern bases are available so that we can
exploit the possibility of doublet codons for the case Naa = 5.
35
In this case, the probability of assembling the RNA for a cell
consisting of 12 proteins, each with Na amino acids, would be fRNA =
(1/10)M where
M = 14.4Na +28.9 – 12q. (eq. 12)
We still need two proteins to allow DNA to do its work: with only
5 different amino acids to choose from, the chances of assembling
these two proteins at random are (1/5)P X 10-2q where P = 2Na.
Therefore fRNA in the 2-codon world would be equal to (1/10)R where
R = 15.8Na + 28.9 – 14q. (eq. 13)
In order that RNA for the first doublet-codon cell could have been
assembled at random in the first 1.11 billion years of Earth’s
existence, we must satisfy the equation
15.8Na +28.9 –14qd = 65 (eq. 14)
where subscript d denotes that we are dealing with doublet codons.
What is the minimum size of a protein in a world with Naa = 5? In
our previous discussion of our modern world where Naa = 20, we have
argued that proteins with Na = 14 are the smallest functional
units. Does this argument remain valid when Naa is reduced to a
value as small as 5? The answer is not obvious. For lack of
alternatives, we will assume that Na cannot be less than 14 in a
functional protein in the Naa = 5 world.
With this assumption, we find that qd cannot be less than 13.2.
This is many orders of magnitude smaller than the value of qra
which is required in the three-codon world. At first sight, this
might appear to represent a large increase in protein specificity.
However, results from the three-codon world are not relevant here.
Instead, we need to compare the new estimate of qd with the total
number of distinct proteins that are possible in the primeval
soup. With 5 distinct amino acids in the soup, and with each
protein containing 14 amino acids, we see that there are some 514
distinct possible proteins. Therefore, in this case, Qmax = 109.8 ,
i.e. qmax = 9.8. In view of the requirement that Q be at least as
large as 109.8, we see that the qd required for random assembly of
the RNA for the first cell again exceeds its maximum permissible
value, this time by 3.4. That is, once again essentially all
proteins are required to perform the task of all other proteins.
We are faced once again with the problem of lack of protein
specificity.
36
To satisfy the demands of specificity, we again introduce the
fraction F = 10-f of all available proteins which are able to
perform the task of (say) energy production. As before, we write f
= m log(Np) where m lies between 1 and qmax/log(Np). (With the above
numbers, mmax = 9.1, and the average specificity mav takes on a
value of about 5.) In view of this, we see that the probability of
assembling RNA for the first cell by chance in the 2-codon world
becomes one in 10c where
c = (Np+2)[mlog(Np) – qmax + qd ]. (eq. 15)
Since the difference qd - qmax is now “only” 3.4 (as opposed to 4.6
for the 3-codon case), we see that the probability of random
assembly of the RNA for a (12-14) cell has increased in the 2-
codon case by at least 16-17 in the exponent. This is a great
improvement indeed relative to the 3-codon case.
However, even with absolutely marginal specificity of protein
tasks, i.e. m = 1, the probability Pr of assembling RNA randomly in
the primeval soup for a (12-14) cell which uses only Naa = 5
distinct amino acids is no better than one in about 1063. If the
specificity has its average value mav = 5, then Pr = 10-123. Even if
the value of m is much smaller than mav (say m = 2-3), and with
more realistic numbers of proteins in the cell (say Np = 30), the
chances of randomly assembling the RNA for the first cell in the
primeval soup using doublet codons is no better than one in 10200.

18. What about singlet codons?

We might (in principle) improve the chances of randomly assembling
the first cell if the genetic code were able to operate with
singlet codons (instead of doublets or triplets). However, it
seems unlikely that such a world can exist. It is known that
folding of a protein simply cannot be achieved using an amino acid
set that is as small as 3 (Riddle et al. 1997): on the other hand,
folding can be achieved if the set of amino acids is as large as
5. For the sake of argument, let us make the extreme assumption
that folding CAN occur with an amino acid set consisting of only 4
species in the primeval soup. In this case, a singlet codon (one
of the four bases for each amino acid) would in principle suffice
for the RNA to encode for the amino acids, although with zero
redundancy (and therefore no error protection).
37
However, in order to assemble an accompanying DNA molecule, we
also need to have start and stop codons. That is, we must encode
not merely for the 4 amino acids, but also for the start/stop
codons. This means that the DNA is required to encode for at least
6 elements. This cannot be done with singlet codons (if only four
bases are available.)
We conclude that the doublet-codon world is as simple as we can go
and still have access to the flexibility of the genetic code.

19. A window of opportunity

When we considered what was probably the simplest example of a
doublet-codon world, with Naa = 5, we found that random assembly of
the first cell turned out to be more probable than in the triplet
codon case with Naa = 20. But still, the probability Pr is very
small.
However, this is not the only example we might consider. Doublet
codons with 4 useful bases can in principle encode for a
“vocabulary” of proteins made with Naa in the range from 5 to 14
(allowing for start and stop codes). And if proteins still consist
of Na = 14 amino acids, then the maximum available number of
proteins Qmax increases from 514 to 1414 as Naa increases from 5 to
14. That is, qmax increases from 9.8 to 16.0. The corresponding
values of mmax in a 12-protein cell are 9.1-14.8 (with mav = 5.05-
7.9).
Returning to the expression we obtained for the probability Pr of
random assembly of RNA for the first cell in a doublet codon
world, 1 in 10c, we recall from eq. (15) that
c = (Np+2)[m log(Np) + qd – qmax]
where qd = 13.2 (for proteins with 14 amino acids each) and m has a
value of at least 1. Inserting qmax values in the range from 9.8 to
16.0, we see that the difference qd-qmax is no longer in all cases
positive definite. In fact, when Naa grows to a value as large as
9, the value of qd-qmax becomes for the first time negative (-0.2).
This will certainly improve the probability of random assembly.
However, if we insert numerical values, and set the specificity to
its average value (mav = 7.2), we find that in a (12-14) cell, the
value of the exponent c for the case Naa = 9 becomes 106. If we
allow the protein specificity to fall to a very small value, say m
= 2, then c becomes 28. That is, the probability that the RNA of
38
the first cell with Naa = 9 was assembled by chance in the first
billion years of the primeval soup might be as large as 1 in 1028.
These represent large improvements over the probabilities we have
considered above.
Moving on to even larger values of Naa, the formal probabilities of
random RNA assembly become even larger. In fact, with Naa = 11, the
probability Pr approaches unity if m has a value less than
1.4/log(Np). Thus, in a (12-14) cell, a value of m less than 1.3
would ensure that Pr could have a value of order unity if Naa = 11.
Such a cell could have had its RNA assembled randomly with high
probability in the primeval soup in an interval of 1.11 billion
years.
In the limiting case Naa = 14 in the doublet codon world, a (12-14)
cell could be assembled randomly with high probability (in fact,
with near certainty) in 1.11 billion years as long as mlog(Np) does
not exceed the numerical difference between qmax and qd (i.e. 16.0-
13.2 = 2.8), i.e. as long as m does not exceed 2.5. This
represents the widest opening of the window of opportunity for the
random assembly of the RNA for a (12-14) cell.
We note that a specificity of less than 2.5 is much smaller than
the average mav: for the case Naa = 14, mav has the value 7.9. If
the protein specificity index in the primeval soup was indeed as
large as the value mav, the probability Pr of assembling the first
(12-14) cell randomly in a doublet codon world is no more than one
in 1080.
The window of opportunity in the doublet-codon world has an
interesting property that is relevant to the modern world. For a
14-acid cell where the number of proteins is as large as in the
smallest known modern cell (Np = 250), the probability of random
assembly Pr could have approached unity as long as m is in the
range 1.0-1.17. This is a very restricted window: but it is a bona
fide window. It indicates that, provided all of the various
optimized conditions are satisfied, random assembly of a (250-14)
cell might have occurred with high probability in the young Earth
with Naa = 14.
However, the restricted window for the Np = 250 cell closes
altogether if we have overestimated by too much the number of
collisions in the primeval soup. As was mentioned in Section 13.3,
our choice of 1065 for the value of nr (the total number of
reactions experienced by bases or amino acids in the primeval
soup) may be too large by 10 or more orders of magnitude. If nr is
in fact equal to 1058 (or less), then qd increases to 13.7 (or
39
more). In this case, the probability Pr (= 1 chance in 10c) falls
far below unity even if m has its minimum possible value (m=1):
the exponent c takes on the value 24.7 (or more).
Values of m as small as 1.17 or 1.3 (or even 2.5) represent
marginal specificities; they are far below the average
specificities, and are close to the absolute minimum value of m
(=1). Whether living cells could in fact survive (and replicate
faithfully) in the present of such marginal specificities is not
known. At the very least, it is a cause for concern in the context
of cell robustness.
The above calculation suggests formally that random assembly of
the first cell could have been achieved in the primeval soup if
certain conditions were satisfied. The requirements are: (i) at
least 11 distinct amino acids were available for use in the making
of proteins; (ii) 4 distinct bases were available for the DNA;
(iii) the protein specificity index m did not exceed 2.5 (for a
cell with 12 proteins); (iv) the number of amino acids in the
polypeptide chain of each protein equals 14; (v) the total number
of reactions between bases or amino acids in the primeval soup was
1065 ; (vi) we accept the RNA-first theory of cell assembly.
If any of these conditions was violated in the young Earth, the
probability of random assembly quickly falls to very low values.

20. Entropy constraints on the window of opportunity
At this point in the argument, we need to ask: is the mathematical
scenario described in Section 19 relevant in a robust biological
world?
In order to address this, we need to consider a certain aspect of
coding theory (Yockey, p. 5). The Central Dogma of biology states
that DNA encodes for protein assembly but proteins do not encode
for DNA assembly. To ensure this, coding theory states that the
“vocabulary” at the source (e.g. DNA) must have significantly more
symbols than the “vocabulary” at the receiver (amino acids).
In the modern world, there is no problem with this requirement.
With 64 codons in the DNA, and only 20 amino acids in (most)
proteins, there is a large excess in the “mutual information
entropy” of DNA compared to amino acids. The maximum information
content of a DNA sequence is 5.931 bits per codon, whereas the
information content of an average protein sequence is 4.139 bits
per amino acid (Yockey, p. 175). (These numbers are close to the
40
definition of Shannon entropy for the source log2(64) and receiver
log2(20) respectively: the slight differences arise because not all
modern amino acids are encoded with equal probability.) The
difference dH between 5.931 and 4.139 (dH = 1.792 bits per codon)
is (in the language of coding theory) a measure of the difference
in Shannon entropy between source (DNA) and receiver (proteins).
(Shannon entropy has nothing to do with the Maxwell-Boltzmann-
Gibbs entropy of thermodynamics). Because of this difference in
entropy, DNA can communicate information to amino acids, whereas
amino acids cannot communicate information back to the DNA.
The large amount of redundancy (represented by the ratio of 64 to
20) in the modern DNA “vocabulary” relative to the amino acid
“vocabulary” allows for error checking in the course of cell
replication. With the proper use of redundancy, the channel
capacity theorem (Yockey, p. 115) indicates that the error rate in
a code can be kept below any specified level. This is essential
for cells to ensure reliable and consistent replication in the
course of many generations.
As one possible measure of the level of error protection in a
code, we may refer to some results obtained by Yockey (p. 73). It
turns out that in a protein with N amino acids, the number of
high-probability states N(h) in parameter space is 2NH where H is
the Shannon entropy per amino acid. In the event that all sites
have equal probability of occupation by each and all of the Naa
distinct amino acids, the value of N(h) becomes equal to NaaN, as
expected from the probability arguments we have used in this
paper. In view of the formula for N(h), it seems reasonable to
use, as a measure of error protection in the translation from DNA
to proteins, the number E = 2NxdH. In the case of a modern protein
such as insulin (with N=51), E has a value of 3 x 1027, and we
interpret this to mean that insulin is extremely well protected in
the modern world from errors in transcription.
Now let us return to the doublet codon option in the primeval
soup. A world containing 14 distinct amino acids in the proteins
(plus one start and one stop code) would correspond to a doublet
code in which the source has 16 symbols but the receiver also
contains 16 symbols. In this situation, where dH = log2(16/16) = 0,
there is zero entropy difference between source and receiver. As a
result, E = 1, and the measure of error protection for (say)
insulin would be some 27 orders of magnitude smaller than it is in
the modern world. Replication of insulin in such a situation would
be subject to intolerable uncertainty.
41
Moreover, the Central Dogma of biology would break down: a protein
(such as insulin) would be able to control DNA just as much as DNA
controls proteins. This hardly seems like a prescription for hardy
life forms: there are too many options for lack of
reproducibility.
However, the break-down of the Central Dogma in the Naa = 14 world
suggests that in such a world, one might consider not only the
RNA-first theory, but also a “protein-first” theory. The numerical
factors entering into our estimates of the probability of random
assembly would then change. Thus, the value we have used above for
qd (=13.2) (obtained from eq. (14)) would have to be changed to a
value determined from a modification of the expression for z in
eq. (1). We recall that eq. (1) refers to the case where the set
of distinct proteinous amino acids contains 20 entries. Here, we
have only 14 entries in the set, and as a result, z changes to
13.8Na – 12q. Setting z equal to 65 and Na = 14, we find qd = 10.7.
The window of opportunity now widens somewhat: for the case Naa =
14, the value of Pr approaches unity as long as the specificity
index m does not exceed 4.9. This is still well below the average
value mav (= 7.9). Thus, we are still forced to confront the
requirement that protein specificities are quite small.
A doublet codon world, if it is to be of interest to biology in
the context of error-free replication, must certainly contain less
than 14 distinct amino acids. How much less than 14 should we
consider? We have seen that there is a good probability that RNA
can be assembled randomly as long as Naa has a value of 11 or more.
Including a start and a stop codon, this means that the genetic
code must use 16 symbols at the source to encode for 13 (or more)
amino acids. The difference in Shannon entropy between source and
receiver for this case is log2(16/13), i.e. dH = 0.3. With such a
value of dH, the error protection E of insulin would fall to 4 x
104, i.e. some 23 orders of magnitude weaker than the protection
which exists in the modern genetic code. And for the cases Naa = 12
and 13, the values of dH are 0.19 and 0.09 respectively. The
corresponding values of E for insulin would be 826 and 24, i.e. up
to 26 orders of magnitude less protection than in the modern
world.
Although it is sometimes claimed that error protection “must have
been” less in the early genetic codes than in the modern world,
this is not necessarily true. On the contrary, to ensure that
reliable replication occurs among millions of cells of even a
single species, it appears that the earliest genetic codes “must
have been nearly as accurate as those of today, otherwise even
short proteins could not have been transmitted in sufficient
42
numbers” (Yockey, p. 338). In other words, if the earliest genetic
codes were error prone, biology would not have been possible.
In order to ensure the same error protection between source and
receiver which exists in the modern world, there should be similar
redundancy to what exists in the modern world. That is, the ratio
of the number of codons in the DNA to the number of symbols in the
amino acids should be comparable to the modern value (64/20 =
3.2). This suggests that, at an epoch when there were 16 codons in
the DNA code (if there was indeed such a “doublet-codon epoch” in
the early Earth), the value of Naa should have been 5. This is
precisely the case we considered in the Doublet Codon section. The
Central Dogma would be just as robustly valid in such a world as
it is in today’s world. However, the chances of randomly
assembling such a cell is (as we have seen) only 1 in 1063.

21. Window of opportunity? or bottleneck?
There is a further constraint on the world of doublet codons in
which Naa lies in the range from 11 to 14. This has to do with how
well protected the genetic code is from noise-induced mutations.
Cullmann and Labouygues (1983, BioSystems 16, 9: hereafter C&L)
have discussed this issue in numerical detail.
In order to understand the results of C&L, a brief summary of
their terminology is necessary. In a doublet code, with 4 bases,
there are 16 possible codons. Of these, only a certain number (the
“sense codons”) are used to encode for proteinous amino acids. The
remainder are “non-sense codons” which serve to terminate the
translation. Mutations of various types can occur as a result of
noise. There is one class of mutations which causes a sense codon
to switch to a non-sense codon. In a second class of mutations, a
single mutation causes a sense codon to switch to another sense
codon. In the latter case, the protein may still function if there
are synonymous code entries. But if we dealing with an invariant
site, then the protein function is disabled, and C&L refer to a
“mis-sense” codon.
C&L have systematically analyzed all possible doublet codons in a
world where the number of amino acids being encoded varies from Naa
= 0 to 16 (thus including all numbers of interest to us here). In
each case, they count up how many single mutations N lead to nonsense
codons, and how many single mutations D(1) belong to
synonymous and mis-sense codons. C&L point out that the optimal
code (as far as immunization from noise is concerned) is one which
43
minimizes N and which simultaneously maximizes D(1). Codes which
have N not too far from its minimum value also possess significant
immunization against noise. C&L find that, starting with Naa = 0
and increasing Naa in steps of unity, there is at first a growing
number of doublet codes which satisfy the optimal condition.
In the present context, it is important to note that this growth
in available codes continues up to Naa = 8, at which point there
are thousands of codes which are not far from optimal. But for Naa
= 9 and larger, the number of available codes begins to diminish
rapidly. For Naa = 12, the number of codes has decreased to the
hundreds, and as Naa approaches 16, the numbers drop off towards a
value of 1. Thus, as a doublet-codon system attempts to encode for
more and more amino acids, there are less and less options the
closer Naa approaches 16.
Yockey (p. 190) refers to this as a “bottleneck” which has
evolutionary significance. He suggests that doublet codons might
have been successful in operating biology as long as Naa was
smaller than 16. But as more and more amino acids became available
for inclusion into proteins, and Naa eventually increased above 16,
it eventually became necessary to go to triplet codons. However,
before this happened, and as Naa increased upward through values of
9, 10,…16, the shrinking size of parameter space in which noiseimmunized
codes can exist would have exposed the organisms of that
time to an increasing lack of immunization against genetic noise.
Now, we recall that, in our discussion above, the probability of
randomly assembling the RNA for the initial (12-14) cell first
rises to large values when Naa is as large as 11. Using the results
of C&L, we now see that this value of Naa has a significant
property: it is already past the peak in available numbers of
doublet codes. Thus, we are already approaching the vicinity of
Yockey’s “bottleneck”. This makes it increasingly difficult for an
immunized genetic code to handle the large variety of proteins
which one might expect to find in a flourishing biosphere.

22. Overview on the window of opportunity
Let us now take an overall look at the window of opportunity in
the light of our discussions of the “bottleneck” (Section 21), the
entropy (Section 20), and the requisite marginal specificities of
proteins (Section 19). Taken in combination, these discussions
suggest that what appears as a window of opportunity for random
assembly of the first cell (in a formal mathematical sense) may be
44
subject to several classes of difficulties in the biological
context.
It is true that a scenario in which the doublet-codon window opens
up to its widest extent describes a system which is interesting
from a mathematical perspective. But from a biological
perspective, this system suffers from three serious drawbacks.
First, in the encoding process between DNA and proteins, error
protection is many orders of magnitude weaker than it is in modern
organisms. Second, the phase space of permissible genetic codes
shrinks to smaller and smaller volumes. Third, a huge number of
the available proteins must be able to perform each and every task
in the cell: the number is so large that there would have been
almost no specificity in protein tasks within a cell. That is,
there is a good chance that a protein which is supposed to be used
for (say) membrane repair, may switch to one whose function is
(say) enabling reproduction.
Any one of these features could be considered as posing
significant difficulties for cell survivability. The combination
of all three exacerbates the problem. It is difficult to see how a
cell (even of the primitive kind we consider here, no bigger than
a modern virus) could have survived. For the first robust cell to
have developed randomly in the doublet-codon phase of the
primitive Earth, conditions must have been “just right” to allow
survival in the presence of the above serious drawbacks.

23. Conclusion
We have numerically evaluated the probability Pr that, in the first
1.11 billion years of Earth’s existence, random processes were
successful in putting together the RNA for the first cell. In
estimating Pr, we initially assumed that the first cell follows the
rules which guide modern life-forms. That is, we assume there are
Naa = 20 distinct amino acids in proteins, and triplet codons in
the genetic code.
In calculating Pr, we consider only the random assembly of RNA: we
assume that once the RNA is present, it will generate the proteins
for the cell. (Thus, we are not requiring that the proteins be
assembled randomly: if we were to impose such a requirement, the
probabilities of random assembly of the first cell would be even
smaller than the results we obtain here.) Furthermore, we consider
45
a cell which is much smaller than those which exist in the modern
world. The latter contain at least 250 proteins. By contrast, we
have reduced the requirements of the first living cell to a bare
minimum: we assume that that cell was able to function with only
12 proteins. Compared to the smallest known living cell, our
choice of 12 proteins seems almost absurdly reductionist. Our
“cell” looks more like a modern virus (which cannot reproduce
itself) than a bona fide cell. But we proceed anyway.
Moreover we also assume that each protein consists of a chain of
no more than 14 amino acids. We refer to this as a (12-14) cell.
Again, a chain with only 14 amino acids is considerably shorter
than the smallest known protein in the modern world (which
contains a few dozen amino acids). It is not clear that a protein
with only 14 acids would be subject to the 3-dimensional folding
which is essential to protein functioning. Nevertheless, we make
these reductionist assumptions about a cell with the aim of
optimizing the probability of assembling the first cell.
In this spirit, we start with the assumption that the only amino
acids which existed in the primitive Earth were the 20 (or so)
distinct types of amino acids which occur in the proteins of
modern living cells. Also in the spirit of optimization, we assume
that the entire pre-biomass of the Earth was in the form of
proteinous amino acids. We specifically exclude the non-biological
amino acids (numbering more than one hundred) which may have been
produced in the primitive Earth. Moreover, we also assume that all
20 of the proteinous amino acids were present solely in the Lisomer
form so that the growth of a protein chain is not ended
prematurely by unintentional inclusion of a D-isomer. Furthermore,
we assume that the initial cell occurred in the physical
conditions which are most commonly cited in textbooks, i.e. in a
“primeval soup”. This allows us to obtain a firm (and generous)
upper limit on the number of chemical reactions which could have
occurred before the first cell appeared on Earth.
With all of these assumptions, we find that the probability of
assembling the RNA required for even the most primitive (12-14)
cell by random processes in the time available is no more than one
in 1079.
In order to improve on the probability that random processes
assembled the RNA for the first cell, we make the (unproven but
likely) assumption that proteins in the earliest cells were
constructed from a smaller set of distinct amino acids than those
which occur in modern cells. In order to ensure that the primitive
life forms had a similar level of error protection in their
46
genetic code as that which exists in the modern world, we consider
a case in which the early proteins consisted of only Naa = 5
distinct amino acids. For these, the genetic code can operate with
doublet codons. In such a world, the probability of randomly
assembling the RNA for the first cell in the time available is
certainly larger than in our modern (triplet codon) world. But the
probability is still small, no more than one part in about 1063.
We have identified a region in parameter space where, once the
genetic code exists, the probability of random assembly of the
first cell could have reached formally large values in optimal
conditions. These conditions include the following: (i) the first
cell contained 12 proteins; (ii) each protein in the cell
contained 14 amino acids; (iii) there were 4 bases in DNA; (iv)
the protein specificity index was no larger than 2.5 (far below
its average value); and (v) conditions in the primitive prebiosphere
were such that chemical reactions occurred at their
maximum possible rates. (The last of these conditions almost
certainly involves an optimization which is unrealistic by as much
as 10 orders of magnitude.)
(Note that we have said nothing about how the genetic code came
into existence. We merely assume that it is already in operation.
The origin of the code is a more formidable problem than the one
we have addressed here.)
If mathematics were the only consideration, our conclusions would
suggest that the RNA for the first cell could have been assembled
randomly in the primeval soup in 1.11 b.y. once there was a code
and abundant supplies of between 11 and 14 distinct proteinous
amino acids. However, when we take into account considerations of
coding theory (especially the necessity to protect the proteins
from errors of transcription), it appears that this region of
parameter space is hostile to protein production. And the genetic
code has to pass through a “bottleneck” in order to enter into the
modern world, with its 20 proteinous amino acids. As a result, the
first cell might have had serious difficulties surviving as an
autonomous biological system.
Finally, the extreme nature of our assumptions regarding the first
cell (12 proteins, each containing 14 amino acids) can hardly be
overstated. If a cell is to fulfil even the minimum requirements
of a Von Neumann self-replicating machine, it probably needs at
least 250 proteins. Even with multiple optimizations in our
assumptions about the primeval soup, the window of opportunity for
creating such a cell in 1.11 b.y. narrows down to a very
restricted region in phase space: (I) there must have been exactly
47
14 distinct amino acids in the cell proteins, (II) the protein
specificity index must have been between 1.0 and 1.17, and (III)
at least 1058 chemical reactions must have occurred between the
bases (or amino acids) in 1.11 b.y. The “fine tuning” of such
conditions presents a problem. However, there are more serious
problems than fine tuning: error protection in the genetic code
fails altogether in these conditions. Even the Central Dogma of
biology breaks down. A cell formed under these conditions would
truly be subject to serious uncertainties not only during day-today
existence but especially during replication. The cell could
hardly be considered robust.
Nevertheless, as Yockey (p. 203) points out, the possibility that
an organism from the doublet-codon world might have survived the
“bottleneck” may have some empirical support. According to the
endosymbiotic theory (L. Margulis 1970, Origin of Eukaryotic
Cells, Yale Univ. Press, New Haven CT), mitochondria might have
been at one time free-living bacteria which now survive in a
symbiotic relationship with the cytoplasma of other cells. In
mitochondria, the genetic code differs somewhat from the code in
other cells. Perhaps mitochondria are representative of organisms
which originated in the doublet-codon world, but which could not
survive on their own because of the difficulties associated with
the hostile zone of parameter space where they originated.
In summary, if the first cell actually originated by random
processes, the genetic code must already have existed, and
conditions must have been “finely tuned” in order to trace a path
through a narrow (and hostile) region of parameter space. The idea
that some of the constants of the physical world have been subject
to “fine tuning” in order to allow life to emerge, has been widely
discussed in recent years (e.g. in the book by J. D. Barrow and F.
J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University
Press, 1994, 706 pp). If we are correct in concluding that “fine
tuning” is also required in order to assemble the first cell, we
might regard this conclusion as a biological example of the
Anthropic Principle.
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 02:11 AM
And then they assembled themselves into the human pituitary gland. A pea sized structure that keeps track of all body processes and directs all hormonal changes plus other functions.


Very much the living equivalent of a high speed CPU in a very sophisticated PC. It would probably be far easier find an Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9650 randomly assembled at the bottom of the ocean then to have the pituitary gland assemble as the result of randomization of amino acids.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 02:21 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
And then they assembled themselves into the human pituitary gland. A pea sized structure that keeps track of all body processes and directs all hormonal changes plus other functions.


Very much the living equivalent of a high speed CPU in a very sophisticated PC. It would probably be far easier find an Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX9650 randomly assembled at the bottom of the ocean then to have the pituitary gland assemble as the result of randomization of amino acids.
I am glad you brought that up.. because if you look at any organ, endocrine in origin or not, you'll have t follow that same exact process of not just perfect random assembly but abridge it into functionality and harmonize it with sister organs for as they are able to self govern on volition but also consort with the rest of the body... when one T cell has no sense of self, it is destroyed-- imagine how immaculate that system is that any error would lead to demise.. every combination had to happen to a set plan and design as to not founder upon itself.. then give it higher function, consciousness, sentience, sensory faculty and let me know how it all came to be by chance, or by a zero splitting or in a vaccum of nonexistence..for just one set of genetic material to give us all of this to a whole universe of rising and setting stars...

'Nature' and zero, must really favor life, and aesthetics....
sob7an Allah

:w:
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 02:29 AM
I doubt if anybody who happened to find a loose cpu on the beach, would say it was the result of random distribution of molecules. Yet, many people will say just that about a more complex living CPU.
Reply

ranma1/2
12-05-2007, 03:01 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
I doubt if anybody who happened to find a loose cpu on the beach, would say it was the result of random distribution of molecules. Yet, many people will say just that about a more complex living CPU.
and noone is suggesting that. however a cpu is a man made thing and unless you are suggesting we made ourselves id recommend looking for a better example. I also would recommend reading the blind watch maker.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
I doubt if anybody who happened to find a loose cpu on the beach, would say it was the result of random distribution of molecules. Yet, many people will say just that about a more complex living CPU.
:sl:
I know I just get so annoyed with the usual rhetoric without anyone offering me something I can really sink my teeth into short of 'God of the gaps' or resorting to name calling as if being a 'creationist' is some sort of faux pas?.. and by the way on several occasions, I professed that learning how evolution worked by practical means i.e those available to science by means of vectors be it in the form of liposomes or retroviruses would be very welcome learning experience.. but not two posts ago, people are proudly expressing how the 'big bang' is a theory subject to change, yet when it comes to evo. it is incontestable truth...

I just don't think most minds can fathom this on the scale that it actually encompasses..

:w:
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 03:13 AM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
and noone is suggesting that. however a cpu is a man made thing and unless you are suggesting we made ourselves id recommend looking for a better example. I also would recommend reading the blind watch maker.
Quite true, a CPU is a man made thing. Perhaps 10,000 years from now an archaeologist might dig up a CPU and proudly announce that he found an ancient man made artifact. How will he be so certain it is man made and not a unique artifact of natural causes? So it is with us.

When I was doing brain research and was dissecting human brains, I was not Muslim nor even very religious. Yet, the structure and complexity of what I found left me dumbfounded at trying to come up with a biological explanation as to how they could have formed naturally. I had no problem in offering theory as to how they could developed after being formed. But, I have yet to offer or see any logical method that they could have formed without being designed and planned.
Reply

ranma1/2
12-05-2007, 04:44 AM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
:sl:
I know I just get so annoyed with the usual rhetoric without anyone offering me something I can really sink my teeth into short of 'God of the gaps' or resorting to name calling as if being a 'creationist' is some sort of faux pas?.. and by the way on several occasions, I professed that learning how evolution worked by practical means i.e those available to science by means of vectors be it in the form of liposomes or retroviruses would be very welcome learning experience.. but not two posts ago, people are proudly expressing how the 'big bang' is a theory subject to change, yet when it comes to evo. it is incontestable truth...

I just don't think most minds can fathom this on the scale that it actually encompasses..

:w:
evo like any other science is subject to change (and has changed) as we learn more.
Reply

ranma1/2
12-05-2007, 04:50 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
Quite true, a CPU is a man made thing. Perhaps 10,000 years from now an archaeologist might dig up a CPU and proudly announce that he found an ancient man made artifact. How will he be so certain it is man made and not a unique artifact of natural causes? So it is with us.

When I was doing brain research and was dissecting human brains, I was not Muslim nor even very religious. Yet, the structure and complexity of what I found left me dumbfounded at trying to come up with a biological explanation as to how they could have formed naturally. I had no problem in offering theory as to how they could developed after being formed. But, I have yet to offer or see any logical method that they could have formed without being designed and planned.
well in general i think that they could look for signs of it being forgerd or made. There is no such signs in us though. No LOGO. no trade marks. ect...
Brain research coool... BRAinnnss...(zombie mode..)
The brain developed over a very long period of time. What i get from many including the OP is that most cant see it as just poping into existence. And this of course didnt happen. It was developed in a way like getting from point a to point b. You have to go between.

im sure a quick google search my get some quick answers. However using the god of the gap approach has never and will never answer how things are done.
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
well in general i think that they could look for signs of it being forgerd or made. There is no such signs in us though. No LOGO. no trade marks. ect...
Brain research coool... BRAinnnss...(zombie mode..)
The brain developed over a very long period of time. What i get from many including the OP is that most cant see it as just poping into existence. And this of course didnt happen. It was developed in a way like getting from point a to point b. You have to go between.

im sure a quick google search my get some quick answers. However using the god of the gap approach has never and will never answer how things are done.

Darwinists never realize that every neuron in the human brain has about 1,000 to 10,000 synapses (connections with other cells), that there are 1 quadrillion synapses in the brain, that this means some 1,000,000,000,000,000 acts of communication, and that it is impossible for all this to have come about by chance.

Darwinists never realize that while the fastest data processing man-made computers perform 109 operations per second, the human brain, which they claim came into existence by chance, can perform 1015 operations a second.:D

Darwinists never realize that it is absolutely impossible for chance to organize nerve cells in such a way as to establish an astonishing communications network.
Darwinists never to realize that by producing substances known as �antibodies� against microbes known as �antigens� or other foreign bodies, the cells of the defense system try to kill these or else prevent them from reproducing, that the most important feature of these antibodies is that they can distinguish between hundreds of thousands of different microbes in nature and prepare themselves to destroy them.

-Darwinists never realize how it is possible for the queen bee, whose brain is just a few cubic millimeters in size and consists of very simple nerve nodes, to understand of her own will and with her own intelligence for what purpose the comb cells are built and to lay the appropriate eggs, with no confusion ever arising.
Darwinists never realize that the human kidneys are around 10 cm in size and weigh 100 grams and contain more than 1 million micro purification plants, that the blood that carries everything essential for our survival is constantly purified in these plants, and that not even the giant machines built by human beings can replicate the functions of the kidney.!!!:hiding:
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 01:10 PM
In claiming that a dinosaur grew wings while trying to catch flies, Darwinists never realize that the fly already had a perfect wing and flight system with the ability to flap its wings 1,000 times per second.

Darwinists never realize that the atoms they claim gave rise to all life on Earth are in fact unconscious entities.

In claiming that atoms such as phosphorus and carbon combined together as the result of coincidences and organized themselves under the effects of natural phenomena such as lightning, volcanoes, ultraviolet rays and radiation in such a way as to give rise to proteins, cells, fish, cats, rabbits, lions, birds, human beings and all of life, Darwinists never realize that these atoms are devoid of consciousness, intelligence, ability, information and of life itself.

In claiming that life evolved as the result of mutations, Darwinists never realize that 99% of mutations are harmful.
Darwinists never realize that the theory of evolution is a blind theory put forward in the limited technological atmosphere of the 19th century.


In analyzing these probabilities, Darwinists never realize that in mathematics, probabilities smaller than 1 in 1050 are in practical terms �impossible�.

Darwinists never realize that the cell, which they maintain came into being by chance, and that given the state of 19th century technology was regarded as a balloon filled with water, has a structure as complex as that of the city of New York.


Darwinists never realize that the power station known as the �mitochondrion� inside the cell, itself no larger than 1/100 millimeters, is far more complex than an oil refinery or hydroelectric station.
Darwinists never realize that a single DNA molecule that exists in every one of the 100 trillion cells that constitute the human body and which they maintain came into being as the result of blind coincidences, contains enough data to fill 1 million encyclopedia pages.


Darwinists never realize how when cells need to be manufactured and when a cell needs to be destroyed, these functions are performed with perfect timing and in a perfect order inside the human body, completely beyond our will or knowledge.
Darwinists never realize although the enzymes that carry electrons by floating through the fluid between the cells are not conscious entities, were they one day to decide to randomly scatter the messages they carry in the body�s flawless communication system rather than to their correct destination, the resulting chaos in the brain would totally demolish the sense system, and all links with the outside world would be severed.


Darwinists never realize that the way that the cells in bone known as osteoclasts perform such functions as altering the length and shape of the bones and shrinking notches on the bone surface, and that while the osteoclast wreaks destruction in the bone, osteoblast cells begin manufacturing bone in such a way as to constitute the skeleton, and that all these take place in perfect order in every bone cell in the human body.


........NEVER REALIZE!
Reply

root
12-05-2007, 02:45 PM
If you throw enough crap, some will stick. If you throw enough crap, people will not see the truth because of the crap.

Let's all just take a second here and reflect. Let's look at this list.

1.- Is there a single intermediate form fossil among all the 100 million or so that have been unearthed to date?

What does an "Intermediate" species mean? Are you proposing we need to find a rabbit like creature with half a wing or a rabbit with gills?

What do you think an "Intermediate" species should look like?
Reply

Isambard
12-05-2007, 03:18 PM
Creationists never seem to realize that evolution is NOT random, nor is anyone claiming it to be.
Reply

sadia faisal
12-05-2007, 03:51 PM
some interesting stuff there :) thnx
Reply

ranma1/2
12-05-2007, 04:41 PM
Dr Tax never realized he has no idea what evolution is or what evolution scientists, biologists ect.. think or realize.
Dr Tax should read about evolution.
Dr Tax should then have a better understanding.
And of course Dr Tax qouting me but making no comment about what i said make me think Dr Tax is a bot.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by root
If you throw enough crap, some will stick. If you throw enough crap, people will not see the truth because of the crap.
What is the truth according to you?

Originally Posted by Isambard
Creationists never seem to realize that evolution is NOT random, nor is anyone claiming it to be.
You ought to discuss this with your pal ranma1/2 on PM, so your opinions are in concert, then let us know how 'evolution was guided and by whom'..

Originally Posted by ranma1/2
Dr Tax never realized he has no idea what evolution is or what evolution scientists, biologists ect.. think or realize.
Dr Tax should read about evolution.
Dr Tax should then have a better understanding.
And of course Dr Tax qouting me but making no comment about what i said make me think Dr Tax is a bot.

You should help Dr. Trax better understand evolution by extending yourself based on your unplumbed cognition of the sciences, instead of citing wikipedia and resorting to name calling? and also so that your replies have some relevance to the matter he presented and not just random carpet bombing....what do you think?



cheers!
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 05:40 PM
PA, I belive the "study" you posted is poor impletmentation of statistics. Basically it is bad.

Ignoring the basic misrepresentations and just obvious lack of proper statistics, the "paper" concludes with:

"With all of these assumptions, we find that the probability of
assembling the RNA required for even the most primitive (12-14)
cell by random processes in the time available is no more than one
in 1079."

He pays lip service to "Oh my assumptions are simple" and "its so complex that it needs fine tuning", but in the end HE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE!

So I thank the author of this paper for the thought experiment and so clearly stating it as possible that life can evolve without a creator.

Thanks.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
PA, I belive the "study" you posted is poor impletmentation of statistics. Basically it is bad.
I disagree that it is a poor 'implementation' what are you basing your opinion on? he uses all the variables known and needed for that random first assembly with known documented data, if you think it is bad, perhaps you can point out what he has missed and what you'd offer instead using the same scientific approach?

Ignoring the basic misrepresentations and just obvious lack of proper statistics, the "paper" concludes with:

"With all of these assumptions, we find that the probability of
assembling the RNA required for even the most primitive (12-14)
cell by random processes in the time available is no more than one
in 1079."
I'd rather you not ignore the basic misrepresentation and proper statistics, I have no reservation on abjuring conclusions reached in this paper should you actually sit down and offer a counter sound and scientific rebuttal-- further on the matter of (12-14), that would be in fact the smallest number used to have a 'functional' protein and that is actually much smaller than viruses, try to visualize the size of a virus to that of a cell and then go smaller...had you actually continued on reading ---
viruses aren't considered living organisms by modern day standards, in other words they need a host cell to function and hijack its enzymes or 'machinery' for replication and functionality! I don't think he can go any lower than 12-14 coming in together on their own volition based on some random environmental phenomenon, and have it be realistic, and still 12-14 in and of itself still needs some other support system to enable it to thrive and survive!
He uses this of course because all the theories of early 'life forms' point to evolution from a single celled organism!

He pays lip service to "Oh my assumptions are simple" and "its so complex that it needs fine tuning", but in the end HE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE!

So I thank the author of this paper for the thought experiment and so clearly stating it as possible that life can evolve without a creator.

Thanks.
That is not what he is saying at all...Perhaps you have skimmed over most of it? and thought we have done the same? he has covered all grounds, from the age of the earth, conditions of the sun that make life on this earth favorable, to random assembly of a simple life form all the way to a complex one, starting in the first 1.1 billion yrs using carbon dating and known fossilized elements, and in fact leaves you two or three websites http://www.uni-muenster.de/GeoPalaeo...ot/seite1.html
with the earliest dated fossils which he has included in his research and further calculates the possibilites having given the earth even a few more billion yrs under its belt for a few trials and errors along the way... thus in the end it is open for you to draw your own conclusion and interpretation with the science presented, which is the most any scientist can really offer you...
You are free to challenge him on the same grounds, not merely because it doesn't appeal to you on a personal level!


cheers!
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 06:47 PM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
That is not what he is saying at all...!
Does he give a positive probabililty to the possibility of the structure he defined.

Thanks.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Does he give a positive probabililty to the possibility of the structure he defined.

Thanks.
I am sorry I don't understand your question?...

The number he uses is the lowest number that he can possibly use for it to be a 'functional AA' and that is the operative word... he uses a number below known viruses << 12-14 is smaller than that, and still 12-14 amino acids would not be self-sustaining. As a virus is not considered living until it infects a cell and hijacks its machinery, like so


and he takes it from there and then making ample room for error, and accounting for all the variables in mathematical equations...I couldn't possibly summarize for you a paper that is in and of itself a summary as so stated on the first page.. I suggest you read it and then ask pertinent questions or challenge him on statistical or molecular biology error..

cheers
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 07:09 PM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
The number he uses is the lowest number that he can possibly use for it to be a 'functional AA' and that is the operative word...
Hey PA, I did read it. Sorry I did but I did read it.

I repeat my question with regards to the structure you say he uses above. The question is relevant, in my view. If its not in yours please ignore and let me know what happened to the Satan thread.

Thanks.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Hey PA, I did read it. Sorry I did but I did read it.

I repeat my question with regards to the structure you say he uses above. The question is relevant, in my view. If its not in yours please ignore and let me know what happened to the Satan thread.

Thanks.
I am sorry I don't understand your question?...perhaps you can take into account that I am a meek woman from the middle east whose first language isn't English and explain it in terms I can understand?

I don't know what happened to your 'satan thread'? I am not a mod, perhaps you can direct your question with regard to other threads to them..

thank you
cheers
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 08:00 PM
I am certain statistics is an interesting field of study. However, the problem with statistical analysis is it can only measure what it is designed to measure and often that is not visible or is lost in the process.

If possible let us get away from the math. math only gives most of us headaches and is not even understood by most of us.

The best answers are those that are the simplest and can be stated with either yes or no.

Is it a possibility that life came about as the result of a creator's plan. Yes

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No

Is it possible that whatever or whoever directed the creation of life, did so with intellectual foresight. Yes

Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes

Do I believe life is the deliberate planning of Allaah(swt) Yes

Have I seen evidence of that? Yes
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 08:07 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
I am certain statistics is an interesting field of study. However, the problem with statistical analysis is it can only measure what it is designed to measure and often that is not visible or is lost in the process.

If possible let us get away from the math. math only gives most of us headaches and is not even understood by most of us.

The best answers are those that are the simplest and can be stated with either yes or no.

Is it a possibility that life came about as the result of a creator's plan. Yes (Yes)

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).

Is it possible that whatever or whoever directed the creation of life, did so with intellectual foresight. Yes (Yes)

Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes (Yes)
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes (No)

Do I believe life is the deliberate planning of Allaah(swt) Yes (No)

Have I seen evidence of that? Yes (No)
Your right, without math its much easier.

Thanks.
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 08:17 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Your right, without math its much easier.

Thanks.
True and we have just reduced the problem to the few areas we actually disagree with.




Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).



Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes (Yes)
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes (No)

These last 2 are strictly personal experience and neither can be disputed

Do I believe life is the deliberate planning of Allaah(swt) Yes (No)

Have I seen evidence of that? Yes (No)

Which leaves us with just these 2 areas of disagrement:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).



Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes (Yes)
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes (No)

Of these only one question needs to be disputed or discussed:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 08:21 PM
Now that we have this down to one statement which is:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).[/QUOTE]

and since it is impossible to prove a negative the burin of proof falls upon the one accepting the positive aspect,

so please offer proof : "that life probably came about by random chance."
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
True and we have just reduced the problem to the few areas we actually disagree with. OK

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).

Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes (Yes)
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes (No)

These last 2 are strictly personal experience and neither can be disputed. Do you mean the last two above or the next two?

Do I believe life is the deliberate planning of Allaah(swt) Yes (No)

Have I seen evidence of that? Yes (No)

Which leaves us with just these 2 areas of disagrement:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).



Could life have come about by simple interaction of chemical reactions. Yes (Yes)
Would that result in a very limited life form: Yes (No)

Of these only one question needs to be disputed or discussed:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes). Why just this one?
OK, I didn't quite get the jist of this but I will follow where you go.
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 08:32 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
Now that we have this down to one statement which is:

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes).

and since it is impossible to prove a negative the burin of proof falls upon the one accepting the positive aspect,

so please offer proof : "that life probably came about by random chance."
There is no proof in Philosophical discussions. This end here unless you want to rephrase your question.

Perhaps "why do you believe that it is possible that life came about by random chance".

thanks.
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
OK, I didn't quite get the jist of this but I will follow where you go.
Quite simple all of the other questions are dependent on the answer to this one.

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes). Why just this one?

Therefor it is the only question that needs to be answered.

Show me why it is probable life came about by Random chance and I will have no factual basis to back up any of my claims.
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
Quite simple all of the other questions are dependent on the answer to this one.

Is it probable it could come about by random chance. No (Yes). Why just this one?

Therefor it is the only question that needs to be answered.

Show me why it is probable life came about by Random chance and I will have no factual basis to back up any of my claims.
Well what if life is actually the result of a definitive chemical reaction with no randomness invovled at all? What if randomness doesn't exist and its just a subjective probablity matrix we impose on the universe because we can't fathom the gaussian (non-random and highly complex) process that underlies existence?

In that case the "it is possible that life evolved from chemical reactions" is also in play.
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 08:51 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Well what if life is actually the result of a definitive chemical reaction with no randomness invovled at all? What if randomness doesn't exist and its just a subjective probablity matrix we impose on the universe because we can't fathom the gaussian (non-random and highly complex) process that underlies existence?

In that case the "it is possible that life evolved from chemical reactions" is also in play.
It is impossible to disprove a possibility as a possibility merely says "some thing can be, if the conditions for it, can be met."

Therefore it is possible to shove a 34,000 ton, 12 legged, flying green rhinoceros through the left nostril of a Ruby Throated humming bird, without harming the bird. All I have to do is find the proper conditions. If I can't find the conditions, it could just mean I am looking in the wrong places. If I learn what the right conditions to do it are, I can do it.
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 08:57 PM
Agreed.

Look, these discussions are just philosophical right. From your earlier post, each one of these questions is a matter of personal view. We don't know for sure.

That's why I said it was possible that a god could have created everything eventhough I myself believe its it not what happened.

The only thing we can do is to discuss why we believe what we believe.

If you want to continue on this level ok. If you want 100% locked down scientific proof, let's call it a day.

Thanks.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 08:57 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Well what if life is actually the result of a definitive chemical reaction with no randomness invovled at all? .
When you say no randomness was involved, you are in fact admitting to a guided process and that is the 'creationist approach' which would render this argument self-defeating as far as any atheist is concerned!
here is a good book on the mathematics behind molecular biology.. Indeed I'll agree that most people who read this book will conclude that there is an intelligent thought to life and not simply favorable happenstances!

http://books.google.com/books?id=_E-...5Puvv9i55WtsCo


cheers!
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 09:00 PM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
When you say no randomness was involved, you are in fact admitting to a guided process and that is the 'creationist approach' which would render this argument self-defeating as far as any atheist is concerned!
HA! Good try.

Like when water turns to ice when it gets below a certain temperature. I'll be sure to thank the ice god next time I have a Slushy (mmmm....Slushy).

Thanks.

Interesting. I'll read the link.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
HA! Good try.

Like when water turns to ice when it gets below a certain temperature. I'll be sure to thank the ice god next time I have a Slushy.

Thanks.
I have no idea what that means or how it is applicable to the topic at hand? It is perhaps something in the human psychology to want to render everything that challenges one's own mantra to some low common fraction, and have it be an object of ridicule; and in that is some gratification that averting the vision to what is so evidently obvious to most is in fact justified!

Look, I have said it once and I'll say it a million times if need be, just because an atheist holds on to a certain belief and that is in fact what it is a belief, should it set them apart from the rest of the 'creationists' -- the way some of you use the term as if some sort of revilement...

we can in fact amicably agree to diagree and that to me would be the civilized approach!


cheers!
Reply

Woodrow
12-05-2007, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
Agreed.

Look, these discussions are just philosophical right. From your earlier post, each one of these questions is a matter of personal view. We don't know for sure.
Fair enough as from each of our perspectives that is what we perceive of the other.

That's why I said it was possible that a god could have created everything eventhough I myself believe its it not what happened.
Agreed that is your belief and you have your own reasons to believe so, just as I have my reasons to believe as I do.
The only thing we can do is to discuss why we believe what we believe.
True

If you want to continue on this level ok. If you want 100% locked down scientific proof, let's call it a day.
At this point I doubt if either of us would consider what the other says to be 100% locked down scientific proof to be that.

Thanks.
You're Welcome
Reply

Gator
12-05-2007, 09:22 PM
I apologize PA, just a joke that failed and not a personal attack. I definitely enjoy your take on things.

I'm just saying that something that follows physical properties may not necessarily need an "intelligence" behind it.

The example was that I view that water turns to ice without a intelligent creator telling it to. It just follows the basic physical laws (which you believe were set by god and I beleive were set by natural forces).

Thanks.
Reply

wilberhum
12-05-2007, 09:55 PM
Pick up a deck of cards.
Deal one.
Do you know there was less than a 2&#37; chance that you would get that card?
Deal another one.
Now there is less than a .04% chance that you would get those two cards in that order.
Deal another one.
The chance of getting that sequence of three is less than a .0008%.
Deal the forth.
The chance of getting those four in a row is about 1 in 6.5 million.

You soon realize that there is almost no chance this could happen.
The only explanation is god.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 10:00 PM
Originally Posted by Gator
I apologize PA, just a joke that failed and not a personal attack. I definitely enjoy your take on things.

I'm just saying that something that follows physical properties may not necessarily need an "intelligence" behind it.

The example was that I view that water turns to ice without a intelligent creator telling it to. It just follows the basic physical laws (which you believe were set by god and I beleive were set by natural forces).

Thanks.
Thank you...I too appreciate that most of your replies/debates are politic...
Perhaps you are just the atheist to change my mind about atheism? seldom have I run across one that wasn't riddled with bitter and sardonic undertones and absolute contempt for theists as if they were the only handful elite Intelligentsia, while the rest of us revel in a cloacae!

cheers!
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
Pick up a deck of cards.
Deal one.
Do you know there was less than a 2% chance that you would get that card?
Deal another one.
Now there is less than a .04% chance that you would get those two cards in that order.
Deal another one.
The chance of getting that sequence of three is less than a .0008%.
Deal the forth.
The chance of getting those four in a row is about 1 in 6.5 million.

You soon realize that there is almost no chance this could happen.
The only explanation is god.
Peace wilbur..
A deck card can only have relevance to your odds to a las vegas winning or some random play amidst comrades on a thursday night, after all that is what they were designed for (by man) for the purpose of gamble or idle play.. and can hardly be an object of comparison for the human condition and why life is as we know it..

cheers
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
What is the truth according to you?



You ought to discuss this with your pal ranma1/2 on PM, so your opinions are in concert, then let us know how 'evolution was guided and by whom'..




You should help Dr. Trax better understand evolution by extending yourself based on your unplumbed cognition of the sciences, instead of citing wikipedia and resorting to name calling? and also so that your replies have some relevance to the matter he presented and not just random carpet bombing....what do you think?



cheers!
Thank you sister!:peace:You answered my reply!
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
Dr Tax never realized he has no idea what evolution is or what evolution scientists, biologists ect.. think or realize.
Dr Tax should read about evolution.
Dr Tax should then have a better understanding.
And of course Dr Tax qouting me but making no comment about what i said make me think Dr Tax is a bot.
And you ranma1/2 ....whatever you are,please do not act like wild animal:mmokay:,becouse you are the one who do not understand evolution,not me!So be patient and I will reply.
Inshallah I will put some more truthfull things about Creation,to understand those Atheists!

And please do not put my name on your posts anymore!!!:D
Reply

root
12-05-2007, 10:55 PM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
Pick up a deck of cards.
Deal one.
Do you know there was less than a 2% chance that you would get that card?
Deal another one.
Now there is less than a .04% chance that you would get those two cards in that order.
Deal another one.
The chance of getting that sequence of three is less than a .0008%.
Deal the forth.
The chance of getting those four in a row is about 1 in 6.5 million.

You soon realize that there is almost no chance this could happen.
The only explanation is god.
This is so boring, get a few billion people and give them a red card and a yellow card, now get 1 person to randomly show a red or yellow after asking everyone to guess which colour is just about to show.

After a few hundred turns, how many people would have correctly guessed the random sequence? What are the odds of correctly guessing the right combination 200 times. Fact is, some would correctly guess way in excess of 200 because it;s a numbers game.

This thread is crap, all everyone has done is talk probabilities.

Let's get back to the first stupid point:

Dr Dax -
1.- Is there a single intermediate form fossil among all the 100 million or so that have been unearthed to date?
- No, there is not. Nobody can say there is, because every fossil evolutionists have to date proposed as a "missing link" either turned out to be a hoax or else was removed from the literature because it had been distortedly interpreted.
What do you mean by "Intermediate" fossil, do you mean like a fish with rabbits feet or a rabbit with half a set of gills!!!!!!!!!!

Purest Ambrosia. - Your 'talk origins speaks of 'transition' fossil, that is not an intermediate!


So, you seem to suggest what a transitional fossil is not, how do you fancy going further and describe what is????

Cheers
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 11:13 PM
Originally Posted by root
What do you mean by "Intermediate" fossil, do you mean like a fish with rabbits feet or a rabbit with half a set of gills!!!!!!!!!!
The general picture concealed by evolutionists

Evolutionists attempt to give the impression that fossils actually support the idea of evolution. Yet the “missing link” concept is one that has been invented solely in the light of the needs of the theory of evolution and has no counterpart in the fossil record itself. The lack of fossil links alleged to connect species to one another has been known ever since Darwin’s time. Excavations by paleontologists since Darwin’s day have also failed to resolve this situation, which represents such a grave impasse for the theory of evolution and, on the contrary, have further confirmed the absence of any missing links among living groups.

E. R. Leach, author of the book Rethinking Anthropology, wrote this in his article in Nature:

Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so. (E. R. Leach; Nature, 293: 19, 1981)

A. S. Romer, one of the most eminent paleontologists of his time, said this on the subject:

"Links" are missing just where we most fervently desire them [to point to a transition between species] and it is all too probable that many "links" will continue to be missing. (A. S. Romer, in Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution, 1963, p. 114)

David B. Kitts, professor of geology and the history of science at the University of Oklahoma admits the absence of the intermediate forms required by the theory of evolution:

Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them. (David B. Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p. 467)

The picture that emerges from the fossil record is completely compatible with creation. The record reveals that living things appeared suddenly and lived for long periods of time without undergoing any change at all. These facts can clearly be seen in an evaluation of evolution’s fossil impasse by the American paleontologist R. Wesson in his 1991 book Beyond Natural Selection. Stating that the gaps in the record are real, Wesson goes on to say that the absence of a record of any evolutionary branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static for long periods. Species and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but are replaced by another, and change is usually abrupt. (R. Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991, p. 45)

Some 250,000 fossil species have been collected to date, and there is absolutely no trace of intermediate forms in any of them. Evolutionists are behaving irrationally and unscientifically by ignoring this and embarking on campaigns of missing link propaganda.




The intermediate form claims that evolutionists produce solely by looking at bones is no more than vague conjecture. In his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, the molecular biologist Michael Denton makes the situation very clear:

Because soft biology of extinct groups can never be known with any certainty then obviously the status of even the most convincing intermediates is bound to be insecure. (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Burnett Books: London, 1985, p. 180)

Even the most convincing appearing intermediate forms for evolutionists can subsequently let them down very badly. One excellent example of this is the Coelacanth phenomenon.



Evolutionists’ missing link propaganda actually works against their own claims

Whenever a discovery is depicted as a missing link, the evolutionist media always give the impression that a most extraordinary finding has been made, whereas this actually conflicts with their claims regarding the truth of evolution.

Were the theory of evolution true, then the geological strata would be full of fossil intermediates, and their numbers would be far greater than that of all the species living today or that ever lived in the past. Therefore, the discovery of missing links would be such a routine matter that it would have no news value at all.

Alternatively, if, as evolutionists claim, there were as much evidence for evolution as there is for the force of gravity, then reporting on missing link discoveries would be as nonsensical as reporting on a stone thrown into the air falling back to the ground. In the same way that we would regard a news report along the lines of “We threw a stone into the air and it actually fell back to Earth” as utterly insignificant, so we would regard reports reading “Paleontologists have discovered a new missing link” as equally insignificant. In short, if evolution were a “fact,” there would be no need for any missing link propaganda at all.
Reply

Dr.Trax
12-05-2007, 11:16 PM
;D
Reply

wilberhum
12-05-2007, 11:19 PM

Proof Nessie exists.
Reply

جوري
12-05-2007, 11:19 PM
Originally Posted by root

So, you seem to suggest what a transitional fossil is not, how do you fancy going further and describe what is????

Cheers
It is incumbent upon he/she who makes a statement to stand by it and support it with some plausible evidence. I have approached the topic to my sphere of expertise, using probability and molecular biology.

If there is something in the sciences that you know, that is not apparent to the rest of us, perhaps you can bring it forth and explain it on the same molecular level as opposed to cased fossils in glass boxes arranged next to one another bearing small name tags and citing same genetic elements in different isometric arrangements. Frankly this is the formula of this universe, the same way we use 26 letters in the alphabet to write seemingly endless rhetoric!

cheers
Reply

root
12-07-2007, 10:47 AM
OK, I asked you what you thought an intermediate species would look like. You respond with crap. As I said, if you throw enough crap then you create an illusion.

Here is an example;

Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
The general picture concealed by evolutionists

E. R. Leach, author of the book Rethinking Anthropology, wrote this in his article in Nature:.
Just to clarify, the author of "Rethinking Anthropology" was not discussing physical evolution in that book and makes no comment/challenge to evolution nor transitional species what so ever. I even have the contents of that book:

  1. Rethinking Anthropology.
  2. Jinghpaw Kinship Terminology.
  3. The structual implications of matrilateral cross cousin marriage.
  4. Polyandry, inheritence and the definition of marriage.
  5. Aspects of bridewealth and marriage stability
  6. 2 essays concerning the symbolic representation of time


Now we have clarified that the book mentions absolutely zippo about transitional species/fossils, lets now move swiftly on to your blatant misrepresentation of the truth. AKA your crap.

Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so. (E. R. Leach; Nature, 293: 19, 1981)
It's a real blatant deciept to misrepresent the above. If you go back a couple of paragraphs you will find Leach saying:

The evolution of species from earlier species is not seriously questioned; nor is the theory that most species are specially adapted to the environmental niche in which they are encountered. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand just how they came to be that way. "
[Leach, 1981, p. 20]


According to your reference, thier is no conflict with evolution other than the theory is more complex than once supposed. Leach meant that some parts of evolution are still debatable, not the theory itself.. There was no discussion of whether or not there are transitional fossils, but that some transitional sequences are still incomplete. He was leading into a section about how the public has an image of anthropologists being more concerned with origins rather than comparative sociobiology

I ask you once more, in reference to your first point. What would you consider a transitional species?

PurestAmbrosia - It is incumbent upon he/she who makes a statement to stand by it and support it with some plausible evidence. I have approached the topic to my sphere of expertise, using probability and molecular biology.
Why the heck would we use probability and molecular biology to discuss the definition of what would be considered an Intermediate form fossil.

It appears to me that you are both running away from the very first point, you have clearly indicated what does NOT constitute an intermediate form fossil. apparantly, you both currently look incapable of defining what you would consider to be an "Intermediate form fossil".
Reply

ranma1/2
12-07-2007, 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by Dr.Trax
;D
correct, that is a common Creationists view of Evo that evo occurs due to need or desire. It is of course false. Im glad you dont think thats what evo is like.
Reply

Isambard
12-07-2007, 05:24 PM
Nicely done root.

Let be a lesson to others. Careful when you lie and post misinformation, someone may take you up on it.
Reply

جوري
12-08-2007, 01:55 AM
Originally Posted by root



Why the heck would we use probability and molecular biology to discuss the definition of what would be considered an Intermediate form fossil.

It appears to me that you are both running away from the very first point, you have clearly indicated what does NOT constitute an intermediate form fossil. apparantly, you both currently look incapable of defining what you would consider to be an "Intermediate form fossil".
An intermediate by my definition though I personally don't wish to tread on someone else's territory; when I have already presented this from a different angle, but for the sake of entertainment , would be a Coelacanth http://www.dinofish.com/
that which was once thought by evolutionists to have evolved into amphibians, land vertebrates, including man, to show a sliver of an evolutionarily find, lungs, pseudopods in its evolved self some where down the line, and not be found swimming near the Comoros or the canary isles. Some 400,000,000 million yrs down the line...

I guess I need something more than drawings of fish in series evolving into man to make a distinction that even you can understand!

However, that wasn't the point of interest in my post, which you wish to tie in to some other haphazardly, nor do I want to descend into this adolescent style of word play, for the mere purpose of having another atheist stroke your ---!

My point was made on the first page [the 'long post'] .. the odds of 'evolution' happening as many of you describe...You are simply stagnating on the one point that you feel will give you some leverage ( although personally I can't reconcile how?) a ' quip counter rebuttal' given to us by the fellow who enjoys wiki more than reading is a legitimate debate.. this isn't a match on the tele, there is nothing to score here!

This is about the volitional assembly of the smallest number of aa possible, (12-16 amino acids) smaller than a modern day virus, as to allow for life' to propogate (evolve), to more complex forms, given the age of the earth 'favorable living conditions' if/when made possible by climate and the sun, for that 'random' progressive speciation, life, sentience, complex forms with higher functions......

He (the author) in very lay man's terms and in a nutshell for those too lazy to read, is trying to tell you that if it took 1.1 billion years for that first 'random' cell to assemble ' to which he designated a variable, using the earliest known fossil refer to .edu webpage using carbon dating (see previous page), averaging in the age of the earth ( 6 billion yrs) to which he designated another variable, to the conditions of the sun which would allow life on earth to flourish to which he designated other variables and so on and so on spanning all the intricate structures in a simple cell from lipid bilayers to mitochondrias, to conclude that in the end, it wouldn't in fact give you the sort of species or organisms we have today.. he extended the life span of the earth by another few billions and it still doesn't account for the kind of complex organisms we have today or evolution as some of you would describe...

'intermediates', just doesn't pack a mean punch in the scheme of things.. to be quite honest, it is a jejune attempt to deflect from the actual debate.. any person that gives this any measure of thought, not even in the mathematical sense, but in a molecular biology sense, will find a great deal of absurdities, unaccounted for, but arbitrarily plastered together to make a moot point...

Show me one mutation or break in DNA, that has caused anything other than a truncated, non-functional, no change at all or even cancer as in some very famous translocations, to give you this fantastic, positive 'speciation', do it using modern science, 'vectors in vivo, or in vitro' by way of a (retrovirus or a liposome) and make some contrast and reflection on the years it took for such a positive change to and 'spontaneously' occur, you'll then make a believer out of many...

Until then you hold on to your beliefs, because again, that is really what it comes down to. A theory you hold as if of biblical importance, and flash around as if to make theists cower in a corner with their ignorance?!


I am done with this topic.. I have absolutely nothing to prove, and it doesn't make much of a difference to my life whatsoever, what jack and his bag of seeds disseminated from the beanstalk to give life to our world, or how your pet rock spontaneously regenerated into a pithecanthropus erectus---Anyone can theorize, and that it shall remain until proven!

can anyone squat and s*** out a theory? I think so.. I see it every day on various blogs, by various 'humanists' -- we might even have some on board here splitting a zero?!

cheers
Reply

thirdwatch512
12-08-2007, 03:03 AM
According to Newsweek, 1987 survey, not even .14&#37; of scientists are creationists. That means that not even 1% of scientists are creationists! 1

So obviously, the vast majority of scientists believe in evolution.
99.86%!!!
Now I could trust some person who posts 10 silly points, or I can trust 99.86% of American scientists who believe staunchly in evolution.

Now I know that scientists have thought about these 10 small issues. Certainly, they did not just ignore it.. Most scientists spend most of their lives devoting thousands of hours of studying! I would certainly trust 99.86% of scientists over a few people who think that these 10 points just totally crush evolution(even though these 10 points have been refuted.)

Here is a question.. If there was absolutely NO religion in this world; no islam, no christianity, no judaism, nothing: would people STILL deny evolution?

Or, if islam taught evolution instead of creationism, would people like purestambrosia be posting these pro creationist posts, and would you, purestambrosia, be a muslim? Or would you deny islam since you would be a creationist and islam evolution?!

Most creationists would not be creationists if it were not for their religion. I mean how many atheists do you know that believe we are descendent's of two people?!!

Sorry, but I will trust the vast majority of scientists who believe in evolution, then over a very tiny number of scientists that do not even equal a fifth of 1 percent!

1 - Newsweek magazine, June 29, 1987, Page 23.
Reply

ranma1/2
12-08-2007, 03:07 AM
3rd the only the i would disagree with your posts is your apeal to popularity.
What makes evo valid is the evidence not how many believe it. (of course they mostly accept it due to the evidence)
Reply

thirdwatch512
12-08-2007, 03:12 AM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
3rd the only the i would disagree with your posts is your apeal to popularity.
What makes evo valid is the evidence not how many believe it. (of course they mostly accept it due to the evidence)
Yes, and who studies the evidence? Who presents the evidence and devotes their lives to it? Scientists!!

We learn what we know from Professors. These professors learn from scientists(or are scientists themselves.) these students might one day b teachers, who teach it. I mean it is like a chain, and when it comes down to it, we get our belief of evolution from scientists who have studied it by studying, and presenting the evidence.

I obviously agree that we should never base something off the status quo. That is just stupid. and in some cases, the status quo is wrong (like Ameirca being 70% Christian.. The status quo is obviously christianity, but you and me laugh when we read some of the christian beliefs!)

All I was saying is that I trust the 99.86% of scientists who believe in evolution, much over the small 700 american scientists who do not. :)
Reply

جوري
12-08-2007, 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by thirdwatch512

Or, if islam taught evolution instead of creationism, would people like purestambrosia be posting these pro creationist posts, and would you, purestambrosia, be a muslim? Or would you deny islam since you would be a creationist and islam evolution?!
.
I have no idea what psycho-babble you are speaking about today?..You should take the time to change your religious affiliation before you write so I can take you a bit seriousely?

I have made my argument using known science, not emotion, if you have a rebuttal for what is presented then by all means.. I am not going to change my opinion, because I am angry that if God doesn't accept my sexual deviation, then he can't exist, he is a meanie (pls grow up)!

If you have something of substance to impart then pls bring it forth, I don't enjoy the degenerative quality some of you bring to these threads!

further I have made ample testaments on this forum, that whether evolution is true or not it wouldn't make a speck of a difference, the latest was under the 'muslim evolutionists' thread, if you can get them to 'unbin it' You'd read it for yourself!

here are a few stats different than yours, if following the herd, where ever the cool spot maybe for the month is your niche..but pls take it else where and stop wasting my time

cheers

Poll: Doctors favor evolution theory





A national survey of 1,472 physicians indicates more than half -- 63 percent -- believe the theory of evolution over that of intelligent design.
The responses were analyzed according to religious affiliation.

When asked whether they agree more with intelligent design or evolution, 88 percent of Jewish doctors and 60 percent of Roman Catholic physicians said they agree more with evolution, while 54 percent of Protestant doctors agreed more with intelligent design.

When asked whether intelligent design has legitimacy as science, 83 percent of Jewish doctors and 51 percent of Catholic doctors said they believe intelligent design is simply "a religiously inspired pseudo-science rather than a legitimate scientific speculation." But 63 percent of Protestant doctors said intelligent design is a "legitimate scientific speculation."

The study was conducted by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and HCD Research in Flemington, N.J.

The May 13-15 poll had a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International
&#187; Next Article in General Science: It's a bug's life: MIT team tells moving tale
http://www.physorg.com/news6847.html


I didn't know that the percentage of who belives in what is how we go on making up our mind.. but thanks for being a living example of 'herd mentality'


cheers!
Reply

جوري
12-08-2007, 03:59 AM
I'll ask a mod to remove the extraneous posts that have nothing to do with 'evolution' but since some members believe that God has no place in science or amongst scientists I thought I'd post a few articles for a reality check!


Religion, spirituality, and end of life care
Christina M. Puchalski, MD, MS
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
Balaji N Hebbar, PhD
Iman Yahya Hendi, MA
Kusala Bhikshu, BA
Edward O'Donnell, MA



INTRODUCTION — Spiritual, religious, and cultural beliefs and practices play a significant role in the lives of patients who are seriously ill and dying. In addition to providing an ethical foundation for clinical decision making, spiritual and religious traditions provide a conceptual framework for understanding the human experience of death and dying, and the meaning of illness and suffering [1].

The importance of spiritual and religious beliefs in coping with illness, suffering, and dying is supported by clinical studies as well as individual narrative descriptions [1-9]. Most patients derive comfort from their religious/spiritual beliefs as they face the end of life, and some find reassurance through a belief in continued existence after physical death [10]. However, religious concerns can also be a source of pain and spiritual distress, for example, if a patient feels punished or abandoned by God [11].

A common goal for the dying patient, family members, and the health care professional is for a meaningful dying experience, in which loss is framed in the context of a life legacy [12]. Such an experience includes support for the patient's suffering, the avoidance of undesired artificial prolongation of life, involvement of family and/or close friends, resolution of remaining life conflicts, and attention to spiritual issues that surround the meaning of illness and death [13].

Clinicians can and should help dying patients find meaning and hope through recognition of the spiritual dimension of their experience [6]. Although they may lack the expertise to address spiritual concerns in depth, healthcare professionals should be able to discuss spirituality with their patients and identify those in spiritual distress so that appropriate referral may be made to spiritual care providers [11]. These include chaplains, community-based clergy, spiritual directors, pastoral counselors, and culturally based healers.

Here we will provide an overview of religion, spirituality, and spiritual care in patients who are terminally ill. This is followed by a brief summary of the major religious faiths and how their beliefs impact decision making and coping as patients approach the end of life.

RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY — The terms religion and spirituality are not interchangeable. The term "religion" usually refers to an organized faith system of beliefs, practices, rituals, and language that characterize a community searching for transcendent meaning in a particular way, generally based upon belief in a divine being [14]. Religion represents only one of many forms of spiritual expression.

Broadly defined, spirituality is that which gives ultimate meaning and purpose in an individual's life. Although spirituality can be expressed in religious beliefs and practices, it can also more broadly include a relationship with God/Divine or a higher power, or with family, or with cultural communities. People may be in touch with their spirituality through formal religious rituals or sacraments, or through interaction with nature, humanity, or the arts [15].

Spirituality is a continuous process that changes over a person's lifetime, and is affected by illness and dying. Terminally ill patients generally acknowledge a greater spiritual perspective or orientation than either nonterminally ill or healthy patients [16].

CLINICAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF SPIRITUAL ISSUES — Many clinicians find it difficult to initiate a discussion with patients about spirituality. Clinicians are often reluctant to talk about spiritual issues with their patients because they believe it is not their role to do so, or that patients might consider such discussion intrusive or evangelical. Furthermore, physicians may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to respond if a patient turns to them in spiritual distress [17-19]. Yet, most studies indicate that patients want their health care professionals to ask about spiritual concerns, and that they benefit from discussions of these issues with their physicians [20-23].

The interdisciplinary nature of spiritual care — Spiritual care requires an interdisciplinary focus, with participation of all members of the healthcare team. This includes the clinician, nurse, chaplains, social worker, counselors, dietitians, housekeeping staff, and other allied health care workers. In addition, members of the community (clergy, parish nurses, others) may also interact with all or some members of the healthcare team, with the patient, and/or with the patient's family.

In the collaborative interdisciplinary team model of patient care, each member of the team has an area of expertise. Although all members may discuss overlapping issues such as diet, physical symptoms, spiritual issues, and social concerns, the trained professionals in each of these areas will usually pursue certain issues in greater depth (show figure 1). For example, a chaplain may discover that a patient is bothered by pain or nausea, and then relay these concerns to the doctor or nurse so that they can make appropriate recommendations for treatment. Any member of the team may discuss spiritual issues with the patient. However, it is usually the chaplain or other spiritual care professional who can address these issues in depth, and make treatment and/or follow-up recommendations.

**Spiritual care providers — Spiritual care providers may be chaplains who work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, hospices, and long term care facilities, or members of the community (eg, clergy, parish nurses, spiritual directors). All are trained to address the spiritual and existential issues faced by patients in the context of serious illness and death. However, there are some differences in the focus and capabilities of different types of spiritual care providers: Chaplains, who may be ordained clergy or lay persons, are certified by one of five organizations after they complete a two-year training program called Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) [24]. Chaplains are qualified to work with patients of any religious denomination, as well as with those who are not religious or who don't identify themselves as spiritual. Non-chaplain clergy typically provide more religiously oriented care, usually with a patient of the same religious denomination. Pastoral counselors are mental health counselors with an advanced-degree (masters, PhD) who have additional training in spiritual, existential and religious issues. Spiritual directors work with patients to deepen their relationship with the divine power/higher being/transcendent, however the individual patient understands that concept.

Assessment — Routine inquiry about spirituality should be incorporated into the initial or interim history [18,25,26]. A spiritual history tool with the acronym FICA (which stands for Faith/beliefs, Importance/Influence, Community, Address in care) can be a helpful starting point to open a conversation with patients about the importance of their beliefs, faith community, and their intersection with health care (show figure 2) [29]. Other clinically useful assessment tools include HOPE [36] and SPIRIT [38]. Another potentially useful tool is the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual (FACIT-Sp) instrument [30], although this tool is used mainly for research studies.

Spiritual issues should be periodically readdressed over the course of the illness because of their dynamic nature [27]. Clinicians should be particularly sensitive to comments that might indicate spiritual need or distress. Often, patients express spiritual need with discernible cues such as fear, despair, desire for a hastened death, hopelessness, feeling useless or isolated, loss of meaning or dignity, or death anxiety [13,28]. These cues should be followed up with further discussion, support and appropriate referral.

Management of spiritual issues — A practical guide for discussing and managing spiritual and religious issues that arise during end of life care is available from a working group on religious and spiritual issues at the end of life [19]. It details active listening and supportive dialogue to help patients work through existential issues and find peace. Important goals for the clinician are to listen carefully and empathetically, clarify the patient's concerns, beliefs and spiritual needs, be sensitive to comments that may indicate spiritual distress, and to mobilize supportive resources such as spiritual care providers, when necessary (see above).

**Importance of symptom control — Physical symptoms are common at the end of life, and if severe or uncontrolled, may impact psychological well-being and quality of life. Many terminally ill patients report that physical discomfort is one of their greatest concerns as they face the prospect of death. Effective management of physical symptoms (particularly pain) can help allay patient's fears, and is essential in addition to addressing issues related to spiritual distress.

Pain is typically multifactorial, with physical, emotional, social, and spiritual components. Each dimension must be addressed. A patient may appear to suffer from unrelenting physical pain and, even though appropriate medication is given for the physical pain, the patient continues to be in distress. Emotional, social or spiritual pain or distress may be contributing to the expression of pain. It is therefore important to address all dimensions of pain and other symptoms, including the spiritual dimension, in order to provide the patient with optimal symptom management.

The clinician-patient relationship — An important component of spiritual care has to do with the relational aspect of the healthcare professional-patient partnership [19,32]. All clinicians should strive to deliver relationship-focused care that is delivered in a compassionate, caring manner. Compassion means "to suffer with", and to render compassionate care requires a commitment on the part of the healthcare professional to be a partner with the patient in the midst of their suffering. This means: Being fully present and attentive to the patient during the time that the healthcare professional has with that patient. Creating an atmosphere of trust where patients and their family members can share their deepest concerns. Instead of focusing on agenda-driven conversations about treatments and outcomes, being more open to the patient and listening to his or her concerns, beliefs, hopes, fears, and dreams. The focus of care should be on the whole person, including the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the individual. Treatment plans should be formulated that incorporate what is important to the patient.

An important component of this exchange is listening fully to the patient's story: who they are, what they value, how they make decisions, who is important in their lives, what gives their lives meaning, and how they understand illness and dying. Giving voice to patients who cannot speak for themselves. This comes from either knowing the patient from previous clinical encounters, or learning enough about him or her from family, friends, and/or their spiritual or religious communities to be able to defend what is important to them, even if it conflicts with what may be the recommended evidence-based course of action. Focusing on the inherent dignity of all people regardless of their physical condition. Providing the patient and his or her family with opportunities for closure, forgiveness, and the best quality of life that can be achieved.

PRAYING WITH PATIENTS — Some patients may request that the healthcare professional pray with him or her. The extent to which this is possible depends on the clinical setting and circumstance and the individual beliefs of the patient and healthcare professional. Clinicians or other healthcare professionals should never feel obliged to pray with patients; some clinicians and healthcare professionals may feel comfortable with the requests, while others may not. A clinician or healthcare professional should never coerce a patient into praying or into accepting the prayers of the clinician. That could potentially violate the trust a patient places in the clinician and be outside the boundaries of legitimate medical practice [33,34].

Christianity — Especially with dying patients, a request for the helath care professional to pray with him or her is usually very profound for the patient. A clinician or healthcare professional can sit by in silence as the patient prays in the patient's own language or tradition. Alternatively, the clinician or healthcare professional can suggest that a chaplain be invited to lead the prayer.

Islam — Doctors may pray for patients, and they are encouraged to. Patients may also pray either for themselves or for other fellow patients or family mebers as it is believed that the prayers of suffering patients are especially welcomed by God because of their suffering. Praying may either be performed individually or in a group.

Hinduism — The Hindu religion does not have specific guides on issues of physicians praying together with patients.

PRACTICES OF MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS — As noted above, most patients express their spirituality in the form of religious beliefs and practices. What follows is a brief description of the major world religions, and individual issues within each faith that impact on healthcare decision making, and how patients respond to serious illness and dying [6,35].

Buddhism — Buddhism is a non-theistic world religion that exists in several basic forms and many ethnic variations. The Buddha is not worshipped as a God; instead, his life and teachings are seen as a model to follow.

The Four Noble Truths, the primary teachings of the Buddha, are as follows: Life is ultimately unsatisfactory because of birth, sickness, old age, and death. The desire to cling to and hold on to the pleasant, and push away the unpleasant is a cause for suffering. Nirvana is the end of desire, craving, clinging, and suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the end of suffering. The path consists of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This path combines personal discipline, mental purification, and wisdom to achieve ultimate happiness and a skillful way of living.

**Meaning of suffering — Buddhists believe that life is filled with pain and suffering, but that suffering can be overcome. Suffering originates from the mistaken belief that one can somehow hold on to all the good, and push away all the bad. Buddhists use precept practice (ie, the practice of avoiding taking of a life, the avoidance of taking what is not given, the avoidance of sexual misconduct, lying, consumption of intoxicants in a way similar to the ten commandments) and meditation practice to achieve freedom from suffering, and ultimately nirvana (the end of suffering). When the Buddhist awakens to the ultimate reality of nirvana, desire and craving fall away, and suffering is ended. Nirvana, the end goal of life, is achieved during life but some will not achieve it while alive but will achieve pari-nirvana after death.

**Spiritual practices — Meditation, contemplation, precept practice, Yoga, and chanting provide guidance, comfort, and meaning to Buddhists.

**Dietary restrictions — Different branches of Buddhism have different dietary regulations.

**Death — In Buddhism, there is a belief in rebirth, heaven, hell, and pari-nirvana (nirvana after death).

The dying person's state of mind is very important in the Buddhist religion. To help patients achieve peace of mind, family, friends and monks read religious texts and repeat mantras to the dying person. Some Buddhists believe that the dead person's consciousness remains near to or within the body for several days, so monks chant from sacred texts to assist the dead person's passing into the next life.

**Ethical issues — Buddhists believe that it is good to continue living, but when the mind is no longer alert or the person is in excessive pain, a natural death is preferable. Allowing a person to die a natural and peaceful death is important.

Christianity — Christianity, which originally began as a Jewish sect, is a monotheistic religion that is centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which affirms that there are actually three persons in one God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. Most Christians believe that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human. A basic tenet of Christianity is that Jesus, by his life, death, and resurrection (return to the divine), has broken the bonds of death and won eternal life for all. Following Christ's example, Christians strive to develop unconditional love for God and other people.

Guidance and inspiration come from the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments), and from the traditions of the faith community. The words of the Gospels provide a framework for living a good Christian life.

There are several traditions of Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Anglican, various Protestant denominations, and Evangelical groups.

**Suffering — Jesus Christ provides a different model of suffering, in that His death and suffering is the means of redeeming humankind. This does not mean that suffering is to be endured as if it were a test of one's faith but rather it is accepted because by Jesus' suffering the effects of sin and evil have been removed. By sharing in His suffering, the Christian deepens his or her union with God on a mystical level, as St. Paul wrote: "We are always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested on our body" (2Cor 4:10). This does not deny that people have pain but it does help them cope with it.

Some Christians see suffering as a punishment for sin, but many others do not see a causal relationship.There are many variations in how Christians come to understand this for themselves. Whether the illness is an opportunity for purification and redemption or whether it is just a part of nature we have to cope with is much debated. In the midst of the debate is the life of Christ, who shows us that pain and suffering, and even death, can be transcended. In that message, there is hope for humanity.

**Spiritual practices — Prayer, sacraments, rituals, meditation, and formal religious services (such as masses) offer comfort and meaning, as well as an opportunity to express community worship.

**Dietary restrictions — In Christianity, diet varies with tradition. Some people choose to fast on particular religious holy days. Catholic Christians fast and abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Some but not all Catholics also abstain from meat on all the Fridays of the year. Hospitalized or ill patients are excused.

**Death — In Christianity, death is seen as a natural part of life. Because Christians believe that an important goal of living a good Christian life is to achieve "eternal life" with God, some Christians welcome death as the opportunity to realize this full union with God.

The Christian belief in the afterlife is based on the resurrection of Christ - that the Christian will also be raised and united with God in eternity.

Family, friends, priests, or ministers pray or sing at the bedside of the dying person. For Catholic Christians, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick or the prayer ritual called Viaticum brings peace and comfort.

After death, practices vary among the different Christian traditions, such as wake services, funeral masses, and graveside blessings. In Catholicism, people offer masses in remembrance of loved ones for many years after the person has died, particularly on the anniversary of their death.

**Ethical issues — The influence of religious tenets on end of life care and organ donation decisions vary. Most Christians place emphasis on respect for and value of life but also view quality of life and dignity of the human person as central to decision making.

Islam — Islam is a monotheistic religion that is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed. Muslims believe in one God (Allah) who is all-powerful, compassionate, and immortal, and that Muhammed is his last messenger. As in Christianity, after death, the soul is judged by Allah and remains in either heaven or hell. Guidance is provided by the Koran, prayer, rituals and fasting.

**Meaning of suffering — Suffering is caused by alienation from the will of Allah and relieved by total surrender to His will, as embodied in the Koran.

**Spiritual practices — Muslims believe in the Five Pillars of Islam (the testimony of faith, ritual prayer several times daily, obligatory almsgiving, fasting and pilgrimage to Mecca, designated as the holy city of Islam by Muhammed). The Ten Commandments, and the Golden Rule as principles to live by. The daily required periods of prayer are important for the spiritual well-being of Muslims.

When a patient is ill, he is still required to perform the five daily prayers by prostration and bowing as long as his condition allows. When he becomes too ill for physical exertion, prayer can be performed in the best position that is allowed by his condition.

Mosques are places of worship, learning and meditation. Moslems are encouraged rather than mandated to attend mosque services not only to attain a higher level of spirituality but to also share a sense of community with their fellow Moslems.

**Dietary restrictions — Most Muslims follow rigid dietary guidelines (no pork, no alcohol) and are required to wash specific parts of the body before each of the required daily periods of prayer.

**Death — Creation, death, and resurrection are linked. Life is viewed as a time of preparation for the soul to pass into life after death. To struggle against death is viewed as resisting the will of Allah.

Muslims who are dying usually want to lie facing toward Mecca. When a Muslim is dying, family members repeat prayers, read Islamic scripture, and encourage the patient to repeat the statement of faith. Islam encourages attending funeral services as a meritorious act, whether or not those who participate in the services personally knew the deceased. Many services may be held at the same time in different places for the same person. These services are considered spiritually beneficial for the dead, as well as for the people who participate in them.

The dead are buried without unnecessary delay, and burial rites are simple and austere. The dead are buried so that their heads are directed toward the city of Mecca. When entering the cemetery one recites a special greeting to the deceased: "Peace be upon all of you, all people of graves!".

**Ethical issues — Human life is of the highest value in Islam. It is permissible to use life support to save and extend life. The purpose of aggressive medical intervention is to maintain life but not to cross the line and clearly interfere with the will of God and the natural course of life and death. Physician-assisted suicide is prohibited. While it is not permissible to disconnect life support, it is also not permissible to cause harm to the patient with equipment or drugs when the futility of such treatment is established by the medical team.

Hinduism — Hinduism is a very complex faith. It encompasses a wide variety of beliefs, practices, and mythological stories of gods and goddesses, all of which have deep meaning and significance for Hindus. Hinduism is the majority religion in India, Nepal, and in the island of Bali (Indonesia). There is a substantial minority population of Hindus in Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana, and Surinam.

A basic tenet of Hinduism is that the true core of every individual being is a spiritual entity called the soul. This soul is not created by a God but is considered to be co-eternal with Him. The soul, because of its primal ignorance about things spiritual, is drawn toward the material world. This ignorant materialistic orientation of the soul creates desires, which in turn make the soul commit selfish deeds.

The effects of these deeds (karma) accrue to the soul, and upon the death of the body, cause it to be reborn into another body in order to experience the consequences of its past deeds. Since the soul is gifted with free will by God, it ignorantly commits more selfish acts, thereby ensuring its rebirth again and again. To break from this seemingly endless cycle of births and deaths, the soul has to become spiritually oriented. This is called enlightenment (viveka). When this is achieved, the soul performs only selfless deeds which do not accrue any new karma to the soul. Once the previously accrued karma is exhausted, the soul is forever freed from the cycle of rebirths and deaths. According to a major school of Hindu thought, the freed soul then merges with God, just like a drop of water merges into the ocean.

**Meaning of suffering — Hindus believe that suffering is caused by karma, and is the direct result of an individual's bad deeds that were carried out either in this life or in a past life. Suffering can be either physical or mental.

**Spiritual practices — Hindus have four types of spiritual practices. These are: Devotion to God or gods (bhakti) Performing selfless good deeds (karma) Studying holy texts (jnana) Meditating on God or gods (dhyana)

A combination of these four is also acceptable.

**Dietary restrictions — Most Hindus are vegetarian, avoiding all meat and fish. They believe that the taking of another life for one's own nourishment is wrong, and that making another living being suffer is creating bad karma for oneself. Furthermore, the bad "vibes" emanating from another living being that is about to die will have an effect upon one's own spiritual well-being. Some Hindus will not even eat onions or garlic, not only because of their odor (which is viewed as unpleasant), but also because these foods are said to be unwholesome to one's spiritual progress.

**Death — Death signifies only death of the body, and separation of the eternal soul from the body. Depending upon the spiritual state of the deceased individual, the soul will either reenter another body or attain salvation. The mind accompanies the soul from one lifetime to the next. Because of the mind's ignorance about the soul, it is unable to know its past lives. However, when the soul is about to attain salvation, it gets permanently separated from the mind as well. To summarize: In life — soul plus mind plus body At death — soul plus mind are separated from the body In salvation — soul separated forever from mind and body

At the death of a Hindu, it is important to do the following: Remove the dead or dying individual from the bed; place him/her on the ground Pour holy water (previously brought from the temple and kept in a bottle on the bedside table) into the mouth of the dying individual Recite the mantra of the favorite god of the dying individual Light a lamp at the head of the corpse when the person dies

Orthodox Hindus consider death and touching of the corpse as highly polluting. Death rites are performed by the priest. Funeral rites last for 3, 10, or 13 days, or a full year depending on the orthodoxy of the family.

**Ethical issues — Mercy killing, assisted suicide, and suicide are disapproved of, but allowing "nature to take its course" is acceptable. Having a living will and organ donation are both individual choices.

Judaism — One of the oldest world religions, dating back to Abraham in 1700 BCE, Judaism believes that every person is created in the image of God and carries that divine worth throughout life. All people are part of the Covenant God made with Noah; Jews are additionally part of the Covenant God made with the People Israel. God's commandments, announced first in the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and then interpreted and applied by rabbis throughout the generations, help Jews to live a holy life dedicated to God and to God's mission for them. They seek to repair the world (tikkun olam) in all the ways it is broken – illness, poverty, ignorance, prejudice, etc.

**Meaning of suffering — Suffering has no particular spiritual connotation. It is to be avoided as much as possible. Part of the way Jews attempt to repair the world, in fact, is by alleviating pain and suffering, their own and that of all other humans.

**Spiritual practices — Whether selected from the traditional prayer book (the Siddur) or created on one's own, prayer is a staple of Jewish spiritual life. Another is study of Jewish sacred texts – the Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, or other Jewish literature. People visiting the ill may help them create a Jewish ethical will, which can be in writing or on audiotape or videotape, in which the person tells the family story, describes what is important to him or her (hence the name "ethical will"), articulates hopes for the future of the family and the world, and expresses love. Visitors can help patients create one by asking questions that call up memories of the patient's family, values, and life.

Fasting is practiced during the solemn holy day of Yom Kippur, but is excused for severely ill patients, if intake of food is essential to life and well being (the concept of pikuach nefesh, or saving of the specific life, which supersedes all other religious mandates).

**Dietary restrictions — Traditional Jews observe the dietary restrictions known as Kashrut; they "keep Kosher." That means that they eat only those fish, fowl, and animals allowed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 – specifically, fish with scales and fins (no shell fish), domestic fowl (chicken, turkey, etc. – no birds of prey), and animals whose hooves are parted and who chew their cud. Moreover, fowl and animals must be slaughtered in a specific way, the blood must be drained from the meat, and no dairy products may be served with a meat meal. Typically in a hospital setting this means that Jews who keep kosher must be given meals certified as kosher by a rabbinic authority. Not all Jews keep kosher. Some are vegetarian.

**Death — "There is a time to be born and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Although Judaism demands that everything be done medically to save life and health, it recognizes that death is a natural part of life. Jews focus on improving things in this life, but Judaism does include beliefs about life after death, in which good will be rewarded and evil punished.

After death, the Hevrah Kaddisha ("the holy society") prepares the body for burial. Men deal with male bodies, and women with female bodies; modesty is preserved even in death. The body is washed and clothed in linen shrouds (the same clothing for everyone, indicating equality in death). Someone stays with the body from the moment of death until burial, reciting Psalms. The body is ideally buried the same day before sundown, or as soon thereafter as is possible.

Traditional Judaism does not permit embalming or cremation. Autopsy is also prohibited unless required by law, or in situations where there is clear and direct evidence that the resulting information would provide benefit to the deceased. In other words, for traditional Jews, an autopsy to "benefit future patients" or medical science in general would not be acceptable.

The funeral service consists of eulogies and prayers. After the funeral a seven-day period of mourning (Shivah, seven) ensues, during which time people come to the mourners' home both morning and evening to pray and share with the mourners memories of the deceased. Traditional Jews do not leave the house during that time, and mirrors in the home are covered.

After burial, mourners are required to recite the kaddish prayer twice a day for 11 months, and this requires a minyan, or congregation of at least 10 adult Jews. During these 11 months, traditional Jews will not attend joyous or entertaining events where music is being played (eg, concerts, movies, wedding receptions).

**Ethical issues — Rabbis differ on issues of medical ethics at the end of life. Most prohibit assisted suicide but allow the withholding or withdrawal of life support systems. For some, that includes the removal of artificial nutrition and hydration. Donation of a person's organs for transplant is encouraged.

SUMMARY — Spiritual and religious beliefs, values, and practices play a significant role in the lives of patients who are seriously ill and dying.

Some important considerations for physicians and other healthcare professionals regarding spirituality include the following: A spiritual history should be recorded as part of a new patient evaluation, and spiritual issues readdressed periodically through the course of the illness. A spiritual history tool such as FICA (show figure 1) can be a helpful starting point to open a conversation with patients about spiritual issues. For patients facing the end of life, spiritual care is interdisciplinary collaborative care, and requires the participation of all members of the healthcare team. Clinicians should clarify the patient's concerns, beliefs, fears, and spiritual needs, and be sensitive to comments that may indicate spiritual distress. Active listening and supportive dialogue may help patients work through existential issues and find peace. Patients who are in spiritual distress should be referred to certified and trained spiritual care professionals such as chaplains, spiritual directors, pastoral counselors and clergy. All clinicians should strive to deliver relationship-focused care that is delivered in a compassionate, caring manner. This includes being fully present and attentive to the needs of the patient and all aspects of the patient's suffering—the physical, emotional, social and spiritual, and creating an atmosphere of trust where patients can share their deepest concerns. Clinicians should be knowledgeable about and sensitive to the individual death practices and customs that characterize the major world faiths. Attending funeral services for patients who have died may mean a great deal to the family, but may also bring closure to the healthcare professional.


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A Dose Of God May Help Medicine
ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2007) — For some families, the cancer diagnosis of a child strengthens existing religious ties or prompts new ones. Now, a new study by researchers at Brandeis University and the University at Buffalo - SUNY in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology reports that while most pediatric oncologists say they are spiritual, and many are open to connecting with the families of very sick children through religion or spirituality, they typically lack the formal healthcare training that could help them build such bridges.

"Increasingly, religion and spirituality are being recognized as important in the care of critically ill patients and we know that many parents draw on such resources to cope with their child's illness," said coauthor Wendy Cadge, a Brandeis sociologist. "This study suggests that we should consider training to help physicians relate spiritually to families confronting life-threatening illness such as cancer."

The study surveyed 74 pediatric hematologists and oncologists at 13 elite hospitals from the U.S. News & World Report ranking of "honor roll hospitals." The findings include:

93.3 percent of the physicians surveyed were raised in a religious tradition; 31 percent Protestant; 25.7 percent Catholic; 25.7 Jewish, and 10.8 percent other.
The majority reported that religion was very important (25.7 percent) or somewhat important (48.6 percent) in their family when they were growing up.
24.3 percent of the physicians said they were Jewish; 20.3 percent said they had no current religious affiliation; 17 percent were Catholic; 17 percent were Protestant; almost 15 percent identified with another religion.
47.3 percent described themselves as very or moderately spiritual; 37.8 percent described themselves as slightly spiritual; 13.5 percent described themselves as not at all spiritual.
More than half of the respondents said their spiritual or religious beliefs influence to some extent their interactions with families, patients, and colleagues, while almost 40 percent believed they did not.

"Research shows that many patients do not feel the medical system adequately meets their spiritual needs," said Cadge. "By shedding light on how religion and spirituality connect to the practice of medicine, this study is a first step toward addressing such needs of patients and their families during a profoundly threatening chapter of life."

Adapted from materials provided by Brandeis University
Psychiatrists Are The Least Religious Of All Physicians
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2007) — A nationwide survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American physicians has found that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. Among psychiatrists who have a religion, more than twice as many are Jewish and far fewer are Protestant or Catholic, the two most common religions among physicians overall.


The study, published in the September 2007 issue of Psychiatric Services, also found that religious physicians, especially Protestants, are less likely to refer patients to psychiatrists, and more likely to send them to members of the clergy or to a religious counselor.

"Something about psychiatry, perhaps its historical ties to psychoanalysis and the anti-religious views of the early analysts such as Sigmund Freud, seems to dissuade religious medical students from choosing to specialize in this field," said study author Farr Curlin, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "It also seems to discourage religious physicians from referring their patients to psychiatrists."

"Previous surveys have documented the unusual religious profile of psychiatry," he said, "but this is the first study to suggest that that profile leads many physicians to look away from psychiatrists for help in responding to patients' psychological and spiritual suffering."

"Because psychiatrists take care of patients struggling with emotional, personal and relational problems," Curlin said, "the gap between the religiousness of the average psychiatrist and her average patient may make it difficult for them to connect on a human level."

In 2003, to learn about the contribution of religious factors on physicians' clinical practices, Curlin and colleagues surveyed 1,820 practicing physicians from all specialties, including an augmented number of psychiatrists; 1,144 (63%) physicians responded, including 100 psychiatrists.

The survey contained questions about medical specialties, religion, and measures of what the researchers called intrinsic religiosity--the extent to which individuals embrace their religion as the "master motive that guides and gives meaning to their life."

Although 61 percent of all American physicians were either Protestant (39%) or Catholic (22%), only 37 percent of psychiatrists were Protestant (27%) or Catholic (10%). Twenty-nine percent were Jewish, compared to 13 percent of all physicians. Seventeen percent of psychiatrists listed their religion as "none," compared to only 10 percent of all doctors.

Curlin's survey also included this brief vignette, designed to present "ambiguous symptoms of psychological distress" as way measure the willingness of physicians to refer patients to psychiatrists.

"A patient presents to you with continued deep grieving two months after the death of his wife. If you were to refer the patient, to which of the following would you prefer to refer first" (a psychiatrist or psychologist, a clergy member or religious counselor, a health care chaplain, or other)."

Overall, 56 percent of physicians indicated they would refer such a patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist, 25 percent to a clergy member or other religious counselor, 7 percent to a health care chaplain and 12 percent to someone else.

Although Protestant physicians were only half as likely to send the patient to a psychiatrist, Jewish physicians were more likely to do so. Least likely were highly religious Protestants who attended church at least twice a month and looked to God for guidance "a great deal or quite a lot."

"Patients probably seek out, to some extent, physicians who share their views on life's big questions," Curlin said. That may be especially true in psychiatry, where communication is so essential. The mismatch in religious beliefs between psychiatrists and patients may make it difficult for patients suffering from emotional or personal problems to find physicians who share their fundamental belief systems.

The Greenwall Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program funded this study. Additional authors include John Lantos, Marshall Chin, Ryan Lawrence and Shaun Odell of the University of Chicago, and Keith Meador and Harold Koenig of Duke University.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center.
Most Physicians Believe That Religion Influences Patients' Health
ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2007) — More than half of physicians believe that religion and spirituality have a significant influence on patients' health, according to a report in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Physicians who are most religious are more likely to interpret the influence of religion and spirituality in positive ways.


The relationship between religion and health generates controversy in the medical world, according to background information in the article. "Consensus seems to begin and end with the idea that many (if not most) patients draw on prayer and other religious resources to navigate and overcome the spiritual challenges that arise in their experiences of illness," the authors note. "Controversy remains regarding whether, to what extent and in what ways religion and spirituality helps or harms patients' health."

Farr A. Curlin, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Chicago mailed a survey in 2003 to a random sample of 2,000 practicing U.S. physicians 65 years or younger from all specialties. The survey included questions to determine physicians' religious characteristics, general observations and interpretations of religion and spirituality and potential positive and negative influences of religion and spirituality.

The response rate was 63 percent (1,144 of 1,820) and the average age for respondents was 49. According to the study, two-thirds of U.S. physicians believe that experiencing illness often or always increases patients' awareness of religion and spirituality issues. A majority of physicians (56 percent) think that religion and spirituality has much or very much influence on health and 54 percent believe that at times a supernatural being intervenes. The majority of physicians (85 percent) believe that the influence of religion and spirituality is generally positive, but few (6 percent) feel that religion and spirituality changes medical outcomes.

The study also found that 76 percent of physicians believe that religion and spirituality helps patients cope, 74 percent believe that it gives patients a positive state of mind and 55 percent report that it provides emotional and practical support through religious community. Few physicians (7 percent) believe that religion and spirituality often causes negative emotions such as guilt and anxiety, 2 percent think it leads patients to decline medical therapy and 4 percent report that patients use it to avoid taking responsibility for their health, but about one-third believe it has these harmful influences sometimes.

Physicians' observations and interpretations are strongly influenced by their religious beliefs, according to the authors. "Physicians with higher intrinsic religiosity are much more likely to (1) report that their patients bring up religion and spirituality issues, (2) believe that religion and spirituality strongly influences health and (3) interpret the influence of religion and spirituality in positive rather than negative ways."

These findings lend support to recommendations that physicians recognize how their own beliefs influence how they provide care, the authors note. "Physicians' notions about the relationship between religion and spirituality and patients' health are strongly associated with physicians' own religious characteristics," they conclude. "Future studies should examine the ways physicians' religious (and secular) commitments shape their clinical engagements in these and other domains."

Editor's Note: This study was funded by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation and by the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Curlin is also supported by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Adapted from materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0409164931.htm



:w:
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thirdwatch512
12-08-2007, 05:07 AM
http://www.physorg.com/news6847.html


I didn't know that the percentage of who belives in what is how we go on making up our mind.. but thanks for being a living example of 'herd mentality'


cheers!
1. The statistics you showed were doctors, not scientists.
2. Also, the stats you showed were from religious people.. catholics, jews, and protestants.
3. Even then, the majority believed in evolution!

so what is your point?
Reply

thirdwatch512
12-08-2007, 05:28 AM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
I'll ask a mod to remove the extraneous posts that have nothing to do with 'evolution' but since some members believe that God has no place in science or amongst scientists I thought I'd post a few articles for a reality check!










http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0409164931.htm



:w:
What is the point in all these? The majority of psychologists are atheists.. Of course. these people study human thought and know that a god can not exist.

Then I believe you go one to say that people CAN believe in evolution and be muslim.. Um, sorry, but the qu'ran seems to go against that. "created you from a single soul" "oh children of adam" etc.
Reply

جوري
12-08-2007, 05:31 AM
Originally Posted by thirdwatch512
1. The statistics you showed were doctors, not scientists.
A 'scientist' by definition is anyone with higher education-- someone with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences, an MD or a PhD etc..
2. Also, the stats you showed were from religious people.. catholics, jews, and protestants.
yes --surprise surprise.. Jews/christians/protestants/Muslims/hindus etc make up the scientific community!

3. Even then, the majority believed in evolution!
60&#37; isn't the majority which isn't the point from a very low common denominator it is more recent and doesn't agree with your 'magical stats' which by the way, when stuck in a google search, yeilds this very reliable page here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:StudyAndBeWise! which I'll leave for the audience to draw their own conclusion-- but say for argument' sake I accept that the majority do 'believe' in evolution, is that a 'good enough reason to accept something without a second thought?'are you for real? you are exactly the sort of fellow who would be a member of 'flat earth society' at the point when all 'scientists' agreed with what was status quo, just to be a jester to some king..can you think for yourself or do you enjoy this mental laxity ? a few yrs ago no one used a beta blocker for heart failure because 'theoretically' it would cause death.. until they put theories into practice and discovered that is exactly what a person in chf needs over something like digoxin which has positvely no impact on mortality!
If you don't know how science works, then pls stop speaking in the name of scientists using obsolete kiddy article from 1972. You lose credibility day by day if I were you I'd make a new screen name and come anew to save myself further humiliation.. One day an apparition of the virgin flying over a church in tanta' http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...tml#post769809
and the next 99.99% of scientists believe in evolution thus I do too!
Gender:
Brother In Humanity
Religion:
Atheist
Biography:
proud christian.
Location:
austin, texas
-- ohhh yes. i almost became jewish several times (including very recently) and I've almost became muslim several times. but i've always came back to Christianity.http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...tml#post642896

... that pretty much says it all---frankly you are ridiclous-- I am not sure why you are keen on wasting my time?
so what is your point?
Stop the bull, I ain't buying! stop using fallacies! or go do it on some other thread because I'll very overtly point out your hypocrisy!
cheers!
Reply

جوري
12-08-2007, 05:37 AM
Originally Posted by thirdwatch512
What is the point in all these? The majority of psychologists are atheists.. Of course. these people study human thought and know that a god can not exist.

Then I believe you go one to say that people CAN believe in evolution and be muslim.. Um, sorry, but the qu'ran seems to go against that. "created you from a single soul" "oh children of adam" etc.
Out of all the medical fields psychiatry has the highest suicide rate..surprising?...psychiatry isn't considered by many to be a strong a field as is the rest of medicine though they undergo the same rigorous training especially where it branches over to neuro psychiatry!
However and as an ex. can we subject a schizoid, a schizophreniform, schizophrenic a schizoid or a schizotypal person to the same standards we use in other branches and come up with that one particular diagnosis from the above? .. we go by 'theorized criteria' if you match a list for a certain period.. then that is the DX you are given.. there is no x-ray , UA or VMA to measure...making psychiatry the least reliable branch in medicine practically speaking!
Are psychiatrists worth more in your book than neurosurgeons or other doctors mentioned in the same post? or what are you posting this on the basis of? My article is merely to show that scientists aren't atheists as you so like to make them out to be with the largest exception being in psychiatry and that religion and spirituality has quite a strong place in medicine!..
That is, if your claim to fame is true based only on the expertise of an authority rather than objective facts.

for your second point.. I said.. it wouldn't make a difference to me if 'evolution' were the handy work of God, or if evolution is confutable science! Either way in my book God is the engineer, which is really the subject of this debate not how many people believe in evolution or don't with no basis as to why either hold on to the beliefs they do-- if you can engage in this topic on a level using your own mind you are welcome to..but judging from your posts, I believe that will prove difficult, since just this month you are an atheist with a difficult time considering our genetic material could come from a pair (male/female) but an easy time conceiving that we have all budded out of a prokaryotic blue-green algae on the account 99.99&#37; of wikipedia scientists believe that-- all new to 'natural selection' yet can't reconcile, why nature would hold on to something useless like 'homosexuality' which frankly should have died out ages ago given its inutility to the continuity of this specie.. and I am sure that has branched over a bit to all expansions of unstable trinucleotide repeat sequences, inherited and progressively worst with each generation?!

Lastly don't quote me the Quran, as if you knew what you were talking about. You couldn't reconcile your own bible under Corinthians to be a cognoscente on Quranic texts!


It isn't comme il faut for a new atheist to dive in head first, pls. go take a few months off to re-invent yourself, so that you are not doing such a great disservice to your new clan!


cheers!
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