Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Scientific dogma concerning origins of life proven wrong by…. Science.

Posted by Jeff on February 4, 2010

More often than not when discussing/debating religious, ‘spiritual’, or otherwise fluffy people I get accused of having ‘faith’ in science the same way a fundamentalist has faith in Jesus. This most often comes up in the evolution/abiogenesis debate. See, creationists like to build this strawman ‘scientist’ who only believes in what she can see right in front of her, and then accuse said scientist of following a dogma when they profess acceptance of evolution. Apparently since we can’t watch evolution happen in real-time in front of our eyes it requires ‘faith’. Naturally, when you try explaining the evidence of the fossil record and genetic mapping and the myriad of reasons we accept evolution, they simply plug their ears and sing like an obstinant child.

So, for all of those who think that science is a ‘religion’ of its own, I present this story. It looks like the ‘holy writ’ of science has been proven wrong! It turns out that the origins of life on Earth most likely did not develope from a primordial soup as previously believed, but was spurred on through the chemical energy of the Earth itself through hydrothermal vents in the ocean.  A bit of scientific lore, having been accepted for over 80 years, was recently proven wrong. So, I guess we should take a moment to acknowledge that the creationists were right in exposing the erroneous views that we all…. Wait… What’s that you say?? This flawed knowledge wasn’t exposed by religion at all? It was scientists that overturned 8 decades of cannon??? Interesting…

See folks, that is the big flaw in the ‘science as religion’ argument. Science is not a set of beliefs, but merely a tool to uncover the nature of the world around us. The knowledge we gain through application of science is not perfect, but it is continually correcting and improving on itself. There is no scientific axiom – from the theory of evolution to Newton’s Laws – which will not be instantly questioned or even rejected in the light of compelling and rigorous evidence. When it a scientific notion is discovered to be wrong, then that notion gets changed to fit reality. Can the same be said for religion? How can it be considered a virtue that knowledge doesn’t change over the centuries?

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One Response to “Scientific dogma concerning origins of life proven wrong by…. Science.”

  1. Winston Waldemayer said

    I appreciate this post. Despite the fact I hold to Christian beliefs, I can agree with much of this. However, I think that it is important for the different sides to understand why one believes in the two stances of creationism vs. evolution. For us to not be at each others throats standing on either side of a dividing line and throwing rocks is important. We are ALL human and this comment swings both ways. Christians need a lot of the same advice for certain.

    Yet, there are some facts here that a critical thinker must come to terms with. Why, with the evidence that science had at the time, think that such an idea as primoridial soup would seem sensical? Here we have the smartest people in the world interpreting the facts. If the facts sound sensical, I think the world accepts it even despite quite a bit of bias to the contrary. If the interpretation of the facts seem non-sensical and don’t seem probable they tend to fight that interpretation. This is the same idea as science claiming that monkeys is where we came from or that methane is strictly from organic sources but they don’t believe that today. Today that sounds non-sensical to a scientist. It should have been considered non-sensical then. Some people recognized this and spoke up and were quickly shot down. Sometimes bias is what drives scientists and Christians to interpret the facts as they do.

    Here are the smartest people in the world… the experts… the ones who do this stuff day and night and as a result of this we trust them to make a call with the facts that they have that meets with some type of logic. The primordial soup thought is simply fantasy and a story that was made up. Maybe an educated guess but it doesn’t seem very educated now. What facts were used to come to such a ludicrious conclusion is beyond me. You may also be wrong about the thermal vents and I actually have no problem with Science being a learning and ever changing discipline. However, it is obvious that when science comes up with amazing stories about deep time and how it came to be, some religious folk sit back and say “What?!?” You expect me to believe that? We obviously are more ready to believe in some pretty far out things but if you think you are going to convince me that God is not in the picture of our origins somewhere with that story… c’mon.

    Understand, and don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t think anyone has all the answers. I only have problems with scientists and athiests that claim they have all the answers and facts (not to be challenged)and try to force their stories down my throat. You could say the same about Christians but we are not talking about religion, we are talking about Science that draws conclusions based on empirical evidence. People of religion are called ignorant and stupid and gullible but scientists don’t have these excuses to fall back on. Saying Christians were wrong is on whole different level as saying a scientific theory (held as fact) by scientists for decades was wrong. That is a big deal.

    If it took you guys 8 decades to figure it out… how come? Did you replace one fabricated story with another fabricated story? The reason why I say these things is not meant to throw stones… it’s meant to help you to see our side of the story. Science should just stick to the facts and not tell stories and try to fill in the gaps of knowledge with things they have no evidence for. Just state the facts, the evidence, and what we can learn from it but don’t make up stuff and draw lines. Christians should do this too. State why you believe (even though it may be subjective) so that we can all understand each other a little better and don’t infringe on someone’s right to believe differently.

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