Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Sat Aug 18 2001 - 00:40:58 EDT

  • Next message: Keith B Miller: "Dembski essay"

    Peter wrote:

    >The point I wanted to make initially (10 Aug 2001 16:24:10 +0200) is
    >that you require of Bert Massie (or of "progressive creationists") that
    >they present a scientifically testable hypothesis of _how_ living
    >organisms were formed (either in the origin of life or later), but you
    >fail to mention that the scientific establishment is exactly in the same
    >boat. To date no one is capable of presenting a testable model within
    >the framework of scientific origin-of-life research or of biological
    >evolution (as far as genuine novelty is concerned). I agree that there
    >is no scientifically testable model of "progressive creationism", but
    >neither is there any such model in the evolutionary establishment! You
    >write that "we do not currently have a solid handle on the most likely
    >answers". I think this is a serious understatement. It seems rather that
    >we have no idea about how to approach the two questions I posed.

    I would require of anyone who would make a claim that their progressive
    creationist views are _scientifically_ warranted to provide specific
    scientific hypothesis that can be scientifically investigated. This does
    not mean that such a view has no warrant or cannot be argued on other
    grounds. Furthermore, my theological view of creation ("continuous
    creation") is likewise not scientifically testable.

    There are plenty of testable models being generated surrounding the issue
    of the origin of life. In fact, some models have been discarded for
    failing such tests. The fact that no current comprehensive theory exists
    concerning the origin of life does not mean that origin of life research is
    not valid science. It is just _very_ frontier science. There are so many
    unanswered questions just about the nature of currently known living
    systems that any comprehensive theory about the origin of life is likely
    still a way off. That does not mean that the current work is not
    progressing and being fruitful.

    I make no claim that science has come close to solving the problem of the
    origin of life. I only claim that it is a subject most worthy of continued
    scientific study. I see _no_ warrant for the claim that the origin of life
    is not in principle able to be described by the action of natural
    processes. Such arguments flounder in our current ignorance.


    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

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