Abiogenesis: a creationist trend on twitter

#atheist #atheism #evolution

The entertaining thing about creationists is how they parrot the latest propaganda on twitter. They think they have the latest killer argument against atheism, or evolution. In the end, it’s just the usual contemptuous combination of ignorance and logical fallacies. Still, it’s good for a laugh right.

One line that seems to be trending at the moment seems to be this:

  1. Life can only originate by natural means or by a divine cause (say, a dead Jew-on-a-stick)
  2. Pasteur proved that spontaneous generation was impossible in the 1800s
  3. Ergo life can’t originate from non-life
  4. Ergo, atheism is false

Assuming you have stopped laughing by now:

One- this is a standard false-dichotomy fallacy. Aliens could have started life here. A giant cosmic-chicken could have laid an egg here. You can’t propose your divine agent as a credible alternative until there’s actually evidence he exists.  And the book with the talking snake, really is unconvincing.

Two- well this is true, but irrelevant. Spontaneous generation is utterly and entirely different to abiogenesis.

  • Spontaneous generation is the sudden appearance of complex organisms in a closed thermodynamic system.
  • Abiogenesis is the gradual, stepwise appearance of simple organisms in an open thermodynamic system

See, this makes all the difference. In order to form complex molecules, energy has to be supplied so that local entropy is reduced.  So what’s impossible in a closed system, is very possible in an open.

If you’re going to tell me that spontaneous generation is the same as abiogenesis, expect that I’m going to laugh at you a lot. In fact, a lot of people are going to be laughing at your ignorance.

Three- well, as point two of this creationist argument hasn’t been proved, three doesn’t follow.  In fact, we have a lot of research now that says life is pretty much the inevitable result of biochemistry interacting with the physics of self-organising molecules. And please, we’ve discovered a lot more since the Miller-Urry experiments of the 1950s.

Four- sorry, atheism has nothing to do with the origin of life. Atheism only means that the theist claim that gods are real, remains unproven. An atheist has no onus to prove there is a viable alternative to a god. If you’re claiming that your magic sky-daddy was responsible for life on earth, it’s up to you to prove it. And Louis Pasteur isn’t going to help you one iota on that claim.