Sunday, 21 October 2012

Refuting Evan Wigg IV

Another week, another shot across the bows of creationism from the ivory tower.
Biochemistry is not Evolution's friend
I have to admit to a little confusion at the outset as to what Mr Wiggs is going to suggest the Biochemical aspect of evolutionary theory contains... he has not got a great record in the Biochemistry stakes thus far. Once again, we are treated to a glossary of terms, again with some flaws. Mr Wiggs asserts that the concept of spontaneous generation of life (that is, from non-life) has been discredited... I am less sure of this. The remainder of the glossary is a simplistic explanation of chemical terms, with which I have no issues.
Wiggs moves onto what I would consider biogenesis, the study of the origins of life (he uses a different definition of biogenesis). He states, quite correctly, that the primordial soup theory is now largely doubted, as the conditions suggested for the origin of life in such a way are not believed to have been present at the time. Purely and simply, neither the pools nor the right concentrations of relevant compounds needed are likely to have been present 4.6 billion years ago. Wiggs lists several arguments for the beginnings of life, and dismisses them all for scientific flaws or lack of evidence. This is fine; we don't know how life formed, it's still one of the big questions of biological science! However, Horn-Monkey is getting ready to squeeze: *HONK-HONK* Biogenesis has little to do with evolutionary theory; evolution itself says nothing about where the material came from, merely that this orginal material branched to present diversity. It is an arguable hypothesis that it could have been placed there by a god, if you wanted to go down that route (it would not be an easy route, or my route, but it is a hypothesis). The origins of life were nearly 5 billion years ago, and a lot of things have happened on the Earth since then, obliterating many clues, so unsurprisingly it is extremely difficult to assess how life originated!

Coupled with his continued rejection of evolution as a force capable of acting on non-living substances, these form Wiggs argument against evolution with Biochemisty. I suggest that Wiggs highlights an exiciting question in Biology, but one that lies outside the scope of evolution theory.

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