Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
DrNoGods
Guru
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ
Has thanked: 165 times
Been thanked: 423 times

Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #1

Post by DrNoGods »

I'm creating a new thread here to continue debate on a post made by EarthScience guy on another thread (Science and Religion > Artificial life: can it be created?, post 17). This post challenged probability calculations in an old Talkorigins article that I had linked in that thread:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

Are the arguments (on creationist views) and probabilities presented reasonable in the Talkorigins article? If not, why not?
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

User avatar
DrNoGods
Guru
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ
Has thanked: 165 times
Been thanked: 423 times

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #11

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to JoeyKnothead in post #9]
What of probability on the 0 or 1 scale, where if it doesn't happen, probability is 0? Then if it does, probability is 1?
Exactamundo. That is exactly the scale for probabilities, but when the probabilities get extremely small the creationist camp seem to lose interest in getting quantitative and looking at the realistic scenarios, and just note how small the numbers appear to be and leap straight to "its impossible." A probability of 1 in 300 million for a lottery win is small, but if 300 million people buy tickets there may be a winner. The creationist arguments seem to most often ignore this aspect ... there isn't just one little puddle, but vast oceans which multiply the chances exponentially.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #12

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to DrNoGods in post #6]
You're missing the point. The Talkorigins paper was about probabilities, not reaction rates. The probability calculation does not consider what the composition of the background is. It simply uses the probability of 20 things assembling into 32-segment long other things as if the process were entirely random. (there are not just twenty there, the twenty are in a set of 500) If the medium is liquid water and the concentrations of the various amino acids is small in comparison (whether 20 or 500 amino acids among a much larger sea of H2O molecules), the probability of a collision between any of the 20 amino acids would be the same if all of the molecules were treated as billiard balls for a probability calculation as they were in the article. Remember, the Talkorigins paper was refuting the creationist statistical argument that is based purely on probabilities and ignoring things like reaction rates, chemical preferences, etc. ... they try to paint the picture that everything is completely random and can be represented purely by statistical probabilities in order to arrive at their unrealistic numbers.(Who said reaction rates and chemical preference were not part of the creationist argument?)
The reaction rate is all about probability. Like, the probability of a Cl ion colliding with Al. The creationist argument is all about reaction rates and chemical preferences.

If what you are saying above is true, then you are trying to argue that the number of HCl formula units does not matter in a solution. Basically, that concentration does not matter. How can you say that? I messed up my concentration calculation up above it is only a 2 order of magnitude difference. So that is like a .15 M solution compared to a 15 M solution. How can you say that the number of particles does not matter? Many of the reactions that are done in labs are mixed with water to slow the reaction down by decreasing the number of particles available for the reaction. There is no possible way that a 32 segment long change of the 20 amino acids could be linked together without reacting with one of the other 480 amino acids in the solution. In fact, all of the 20 amino acids would be used up to react with the 480 other amino acids before they could ever react with each other.

All of this does not even matter because the Earth never did have a reducing atmosphere.

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #13

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to DrNoGods in post #10]
As far as reaction rates and collision frequencies, take 1 liter of water. This is 1000 ml = 1000 g = 55.6 moles of H2O = 55.6 x 6.02e23 = 3.35e25 molecules of H2O in 1L of water (H2O MW is 18 g/mole). Now dump in enough amino acids to make a 1e-6 molar solution. This is 6.02e17 amino acid molecules (however many different types there are). So there are 56 million molecules of H2O for each amino acid molecule in this solution. The probability of a collision between one amino acid and another is far less (many orders of magnitude) than the probability of a collision between an amino acid molecule and a water molecule.

But the original bone of contention is your replacement of 20 by 500 in the number of ways 20 things can combine to make a certain 32-sequence other things (ie. (1/20)^32). That has nothing to do with molar concentrations or reaction rates, etc.(it has everything to do with reaction rates and concentrations because reaction rates and concentrations are based on probability) It is simply the probability of landing on a specific 32 long sequence using 20 components by successive random tries (amino acids, or anything else). If there were 480 other amino acids in the solution it would not change the probability for the 20 under consideration to make a specific 32 segments long chain by random, successive tries(this is where your mistake is there is no way there can be success trys. The 20 would be consumed in reactions with the other 480). These other amino acids, like the far more numerous water molecules, are just spectators. (spectator ions are not part of the reaction they stay in aqueous solution, the 480 would take part in the reaction with 20)
Come on the is chemistry 101

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #14

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to brunumb in post #8]
Could you please enlighten us on the relative abundances of these 500 amino acids in the primitive earth. Glycine is the simplest and would surely have been the most abundant. Chemical reactions over time would probably have led to a gradual accumulation of the others. Probability calculations from apologists invariably disregard the numerous pathways, the step-wise conversions and the scale of the time involved. Too often it is just presented as a wam-bam here is the start and here is the finish one step process that bears no relation to reality. But the bogus statistics are always impressive to the ignorant or uninformed.
Sure if you can tell me how any amino acids can be made in the presence of oxygen. In which the oldest zircon indicates that the Earth was full of. (look at the article cited above.)

User avatar
DrNoGods
Guru
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ
Has thanked: 165 times
Been thanked: 423 times

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #15

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to EarthScienceguy in post #13]
...(this is where your mistake is there is no way there can be success trys. The 20 would be consumed in reactions with the other 480). These other amino acids, like the far more numerous water molecules, are just spectators. (spectator ions are not part of the reaction they stay in aqueous solution, the 480 would take part in the reaction with 20)

Come on the is chemistry 101
We aren't debating chemistry 101, but rather the Talkorigins article and the probabilities and other comments/numbers there. The number from that article you chose to drastically change was Ian's probability for 20 things to form a specific 32-segment thing via random chance. The "successive tries" are as if you (metaphorically) threw the 20 amino acids into the air and let them randomly land along a line, then checked to see if they formed the required 32-segment pattern. For this probability, it doesn't matter if there are 480 other amino acids around (or H2O molecules) ... it is just a probability for an event (20 things making a specific sequence of 32 ... made only from those 20 things). There's no chemistry involved in this probability number.

We know chemistry isn't completely random. There are preferences for how atoms and molecules bond, and how. If it were purely random you won't not have the base pairs in DNA bonding only A to T and C to G. You'd get A-G and C-T as equally likely. But this isn't random.

Waiting on your "proof" that evolution is impossible.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

User avatar
brunumb
Prodigy
Posts: 3106
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:20 am
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 1461 times
Been thanked: 843 times

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #16

Post by brunumb »

EarthScienceguy wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:27 pm [Replying to brunumb in post #8]
Could you please enlighten us on the relative abundances of these 500 amino acids in the primitive earth. Glycine is the simplest and would surely have been the most abundant. Chemical reactions over time would probably have led to a gradual accumulation of the others. Probability calculations from apologists invariably disregard the numerous pathways, the step-wise conversions and the scale of the time involved. Too often it is just presented as a wam-bam here is the start and here is the finish one step process that bears no relation to reality. But the bogus statistics are always impressive to the ignorant or uninformed.
Sure if you can tell me how any amino acids can be made in the presence of oxygen. In which the oldest zircon indicates that the Earth was full of. (look at the article cited above.)
In other words you can't enlighten us on the relative abundances of these 500 amino acids in the primitive earth. Got it. Your probabilities are completely bogus and irrelevant unless you know the exact conditions, the exact mechanism and the specific pathway that all apply to your calculation.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

User avatar
brunumb
Prodigy
Posts: 3106
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:20 am
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 1461 times
Been thanked: 843 times

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #17

Post by brunumb »

First evidence that amino acids formed soon after the Big Bang

A new measurement of chemical evolution suggests that amino acids filled the early universe some nine billion years before life emerged. That has important implications for understanding the origin of life and attempting to re-create it in the lab.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/0 ... -big-bang/
Amino acids and the origin of life on Earth

The question of why organisms on Earth consist of l-amino acids instead of d-amino acids is still an unresolved riddle. Some scientists have long suggested that a substantial fraction of the organic compounds that were the precursors to amino acids—and perhaps some amino acids themselves—on early Earth may have been derived from comet and meteorite impacts.
https://www.britannica.com/science/amin ... e-on-Earth
Origin of life: Which came first?
An experiment in recreating primordial proteins solves a long-standing riddle
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 095023.htm

No God necessary.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #18

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to brunumb in post #16]

Wow! you totally must miss the point of the oxygen in the environment. And you obviously did not read Ian's article because the values for the concentration are his values. I am simply saying that you have to have a reason to have just the 20 that occur in cells. Otherwise, you have to assume that they are all present. I did not make up this fairy tale I am simply explaining how science, not fairy tales work.
Abiogenesis is not possible. It is so not possible that scientists are openly saying that life came from outer space because it could not have happened here. Especially, when the oldest zircon crystals indicate that the early environment on this planet was like it is today.

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #19

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to DrNoGods in post #0]
We aren't debating chemistry 101, but rather the Talkorigins article and the probabilities and other comments/numbers there. The number from that article you chose to drastically change was Ian's probability for 20 things to form a specific 32-segment thing via random chance. The "successive tries" are as if you (metaphorically) threw the 20 amino acids into the air and let them randomly land along a line, then checked to see if they formed the required 32-segment pattern. For this probability, it doesn't matter if there are 480 other amino acids around (or H2O molecules) ... it is just a probability for an event (20 things making a specific sequence of 32 ... made only from those 20 things). There's no chemistry involved in this probability number.
But there is no way to throw the 20 into the air without the other 480. How would the 20 get separated from the 480? That is the problem. Why would the 20 not react with the other 480? I am still waiting on that. You want to separate the 20 from the 480 with no mechanism for that to happen.

But it really does not matter because the atmosphere of the early earth was the same as it is today. That means the early ocean would have an oxygen concentration that would tend to disassociate organic molecules.

User avatar
EarthScienceguy
Guru
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:53 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Abiogenesis and Probabilities

Post #20

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to brunumb in post #17]

from your article.
“Their existence in samples is by no means an immediate precursor of life,” say Kauffman and co.
This also explains why attempts to extend experiments like Urey and Miller’s over months and years have never yielded anything interesting. Even computer simulations of the origin of life have never yielded clear evidence of how the step can be taken from amino acids to auto-catalytic chemical networks and then to self-reproducing molecules of life.
Your own article states that Urey and Millers experiment has not yielded anything interesting. Along with computer simulations. But outer space can? Outer space which is full of cosmic, x-rays, and ultraviolet rays is going to produce organic molecules. Really?

Post Reply