Brian D. Harper (bharper@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu)
Mon, 26 Feb 1996 18:59:26 -0500


From: hpyockey@aol.com (HPYockey)
Newsgroups: talk.origins
Subject: Belief in a Pre-Biotic Soup is a Religious or Ideological Belief
Date: 1 Aug 1995 12:53:33 -0400
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Subj: Belief in a Pre-Biotic Soup in the Early Ocean is a Religious or
Ideological Belief

Socrates in his Apology said he wanted to find out who was the wisest of
the Greeks so he went among the craftsman and questioned them. He found
out that the cobblers knew how to make shoes but nothing else. By the same
token the carpenters knew how to build houses but nothing else. Let us
follow his example. To find out about belief and evidence or its abscence
suppose we ask the theologians about faith and evidence. Then we will ask
the scientists.

The views of the theologians are discussed in the Letter to the Hebrews:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things
UNSEEN." [Hebrews 11:1 et. sequ.] (I hope no one objects to writing a
letter to the Hebrews.) The same theme appears in the Gospel of John 20:
24-28 where Thomas "The Doubter" demanded positive and specific evidence
before he would believe. But he got chewed out by his Boss who gave him
the evidence but reproved him: "Have you believed because you have seen
point of view from religion.

Eric Hoffer in The True Believer (Harper and Row 1951) found the same
belief system in ideology, for example dialectical materialism of
Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx founders of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism. See
page 78. "All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a
FACT-PROOF screen between the faithful and the realities of the world.
They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already
embodied in their doctrine and there is no truth or certitude outside it.
The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be
derived from his experience but from holy writ. Page 79 "The effectiveness
of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No
doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is
presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth."

It is often said that once the Earth was devoid of life; now it pullulates
(look it up) with life. Therefore there must have been a primeval soup in
the early ocean. That statement is fine if taken as a doctrine of religion
or ideology.

But belief systems in science demand specific and detailed evidence, as
Socrates said, they must come from observation, that is measuring,
weighing and counting. [Plato, The Republic.]

I have contrasted the belief systems of religion and ideology with those
of science in my deathless prose. Specifically, Self Organization Origin
of Life Scenarios and Information Theory, Journal of Theoretical Biology
v91 13-31 (1981) There is further detailed discussion in Information
Theory and Molecular Biology Cambridge University Press (1992) and in
"Information in bits and bytes BioEssays v17 p85-88 (1995).

This post is a serious presentation of the problem. I am sorry so many of
you sober-sides didn't get the joke on page 241 of Information Theory and
Molecular Biology. One of the reasons that the local law enforcement
authorities here in Harford County didn't get a warrant for my arrest is
that there was no bank robbery. By the same token there was no primeval
soup either.

BTW That book was written for the literate and educated reader. There are
many literary allusions in it. How many can you find?

Please read the book and the journal article before telling me how wrong I
am. That material is protected by copyright. I can't put it in the
Internet so go ahead and buy the book. The cost is tax deductible.

BTW Creationists should take no pleasure in this post. Evolution began
after the origin of life. It is a demonstrated fact. Many key enzymes
occur every where in biology in a chain of evolution. Information Theory
shows that is essentially a communication system and could not have
happened by chance. There is no scientific need for special creation,
especially 6000 years ago. Long live the memory and work of Charles

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber man muss schweigen. Ludwig
If you don't know what you are talking about; shut up! Yogi Berra.

Best regards to all, Hubert P. Yockey


Brian Harper |
Associate Professor | "It is not certain that all is uncertain,
Applied Mechanics | to the glory of skepticism" -- Pascal
Ohio State University |