Thursday, 16 April 2015

If God isn't real, where did life come from?

I was walking along Elizabeth street in Melbourne when I saw a group of Christians set up behind a table and a couple of pamphlet stands. They had a few posters up, one of asked 'What does the bible really teach?' I wanted to answer 'How much I can beat my slaves' but I had to get back to the office. 

Another of the posters they had up was about how life is a creation of God. Again, if I'd had time I'd have asked about this. I wanted to ask them if they understood what an argument from ignorance was. You have to be careful asking this because when you say 'ignorance' the person thinks you're calling them ignorant. Because you are. But it's not a nice thing to be called. 

Obviously these people feel/believe that life exists on earth because the god they believe in put it here. I'm quite confident it could be translated as saying, they don't know how life began, therefore god is responsible. 

They don't know...therefore god. 

Not once has this ever proven to be accurate. In fact it's only ever proven to be wrong. 

I'm sure they'd tell me that life is too complex to have come about naturally^ so it *must* have been a higher intelligence that was responsible for it. They don't know that it was a higher intelligence, they can't demonstrate that it was a higher intelligence, but the idea is too complex for them to understand so what else could it have been? 

What I'd like to know from them is why their ignorance of a subject should be considered by me as proof that a god exists? When discussing this subject, a question that often arises is 'well if not god, who was it then?' Let's forget that we shouldn't necessarily be considering a 'who' at all, but I'd ask them why my ignorance on a subject should be considered by me as proof that a god exists? 

Despite the efforts of some to convince us otherwise, the sum of what we don't understand is not evidence for god. 

I wonder what it would be like to go back to July 16 1869 and ask them what they thought about the idea of putting a person on the moon. They'd probably think you were crazy. You might get shot on the spot for being bewitched and spreading such blasphemous ideas! Hopefully not, but you could be pretty sure that they'd scoff at the idea. There's no way they could fathom technology that could get a person to the moon. But 100 years later, which is really but a blip on the Earth's time scale, sure enough, a human being stood on the surface of the moon, and then was safely returned to Earth. (Yes, really. I've no time for luna-denialists) 

I find a similar situation arises when talking to theists about abiogenesis. 'There's no way life can come from non-life' they say. 'No one will ever be able to create life from non-life in the lab'. They say this completely oblivious to the discoveries being made in this area now, let alone what advances will be made over the next 100 years. They say this with absolutely no idea what they're talking about. They are clueless and have been fooled by their faith into thinking that life must have come from god. It's a shame. A simple Google search brings back results like this which shows there is a lot of great work being done in the area of abiogenesis. One simply needs to read about it. 

I have no doubt that one day early solar system/Earth conditions will be replicated and scientists will work out how life started on Earth. It will be hard, and it may not be in my lifetime, but I've no reason to think it won't happen. If we discover the origin of life on earth, I guarantee it'll be from chemists and biologists, not priests, not Ken Ham, and not Ray Comfort. Also, it'll be published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal and not in some amateur YouTube video. 

And the religiously brainwashed will still deny it. 

^The same condition doesn't seem to apply to the god in which they believe. Saying something is too complex to have occurred naturally and explaining it by invoking an even more complex being seems strange to me.