Actually, it’s a failure of language—the traditional definition of sound requires a person to hear it. If the question was “…if no one is there, does it make sound waves?” then the answer would be “yes.” English is lame, I know. What? I saw it on QI. Leave me alone.
This warning label should be required by law. Historically, the Bible has easily been more dangerous than cigarettes. I don’t want to ban the Bible, I just want to see this warning on each one. You know, like we warn cigarette smokers.
Merriam-Webster calls abiogenesis: the supposed spontaneous origination of living organisms directly from lifeless matter—called alsospontaneous generation;
RationalWiki defines abiogenesis: …the process by which a living organism arises naturally from non-living matter, as opposed to biogenesis, which is the creation of living organisms by other living organisms. Scientists speculate that life may have arisen as a result of random chemical processes happening to produce self-replicating molecules.
Finally, Wikipedia seems the most balanced by defining abiogenesis this way: is the study of how biological life could arise from inorganic matter through natural processes.
Seems Dictionary.com is seriously in the wrong.
Besides, how can you “discredit” a theory? Either there is evidence for it or not. My understanding is that scientists have yet to find hard proof of abiogenesis, but it is the most logical explanation for how life became, well, life. Certainly more logical than “God created it!”
I don’t like this metaphor because it suggests there is still someone rolling the dice.
There is no one rolling the dice—not as far as we can tell. Plus, I think a better metaphor would be to simply explain it (or explain it, simply):
Throughout the universe things collide all the time—small collisions and big ones. Sometimes the elements that make up the colliding things combine on a chemical level and create life. If that life doesn’t have the right characteristics to survive the environment it was born into, it dies. Now imagine this happening a trillion times around the universe—or even around our planet. The overwhelming majority of the life that has been created by collisions big and small on planet Earth didn’t have the right characteristics to survive this planet.
I hope that is nice and clear to everyone, even folks who Believe.
“Evolution” isn’t even really a “process”. It’s just something we view as a process. It’s utterly random and disconnected to other examples of it. It’s not an intelligent process. It’s not even a particularly efficient process as it sometimes takes millions or billions of years to yield results.
No god, no “intelligent design,” just the universe randomly serving up puzzle pieces that may or may not fit together.
To me, that makes us, our planet, and life, in general, all the more precious.
I’m going to be the fly in the ointment and say that replacing one dogma with another is a mistake. The universe is filled with shades of gray that we need to interpret. A single cell is life, but should that single cell of life have as much value as a newborn baby in a crib? Or a full-grown adult? Saying “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” just fights one weak argument with another weak argument.
It’s not even that hard to make a strong argument!
We need to stop having these pithy, black & white arguments filled with absolute declarations, when it’s fairly obvious that the universe is a bit more subtle than most of us want to admit.