Friday, January 17, 2014

Answering Kirk Hastings: First Question for Darwinists

I have a handful of writing and editing projects in the works. What is Truth? is a philosophy book I've been editing that is already available in the Kindle store. A major update is coming out on February 7, 2014. The "Unofficial Distorted View Bar Guide" will be published as a Kindle exclusive on February 14. Both books will be getting a handful of updates over the next few months before print editions become available.

One project that does not yet have a scheduled release date is "Answering Kirk Hastings." Kirk is an interesting fellow who may very well be the single worst English speaking Apologetic writer today. He has a series of Facebook pages where he posts assorted rants and then bans anyone who asks him difficult questions. I've decided it would be fun, in an MST3K sort of way, to publish replies to some of his questions. The full book will eventually be published as a Kindle Exclusive, with print and other eBook formats becoming available after I've responded to Kirk's more coherent posts. Below is a selection from the chapter "Top Ten Questions for Darwinists," where I respond to ten questions Kirk seems to think are slam-dunk "You can't answer it!" challenges.

Top Ten Questions for Darwinists

A January, 2014 post from Freedom From Atheistic Scientism poses a list of questions Kirk wants answered by “Darwinists.” The term “Darwinist” is used by Creationists as a pejorative when referring to people who accept some aspect of Evolutionary Theory as being potentially accurate. The hosts of the Irreligiosophy podcast addressed this same list of questions in their excellent blog post Kirk Hasting’s “Top Ten Questions for Darwinists.”
by Kirk Hastings
1) How can science tell us on the one hand that life originally evolved from non-life, but spontaneous generation is always impossible?
Here, Kirk is confusing two different theories. First, is the origin of all life on Earth, how the first life forms developed from inanimate matter. The second is a theory that stated fully formed organisms were spontaneously generated in the right circumstances. The two ideas seem similar on the surface, making them easy to confuse.
First, let’s examine the debunked theory of spontaneous generation. According to the theory, rotting meat will spontaneously give rise to flies, a pile of grains will spontaneously give rise to mice and so on. The fundamental theory was that complex organisms, such as mice, maggots and other creatures, emerged from matter unrelated to their own species.
Unlike spontaneous generation, abiogenesis does not propose fully formed organisms emerged from the primordial soup, but that simple, self-replicating molecules grew more sophisticated over time. Kirk’s question equates naturally occurring amino acids forming self-replicating RNA strands with a mouse being birthed by a pile of stored grain.
Kirk would do well to listen to the Irreligiosophy podcast episode “Spontaneous Generation and Abby O’Genesis” as it provides and excellent and concise layman’s introduction to not only the differences between the origin of life and spontaneous generation, but to the debates among scientists about how life might have arisen.
To answer Kirk’s original question, “How can science tell us on the one hand that life originally evolved from non-life, but spontaneous generation is always impossible?” science can hold spontaneous generation as unlikely and the formation of primitive life from nonliving matter as plausible because they are, in fact, two different things. When you get down to the nuts and bolts of each theory, they are different theories that only overlap in the mind of someone who does not understand either theory.

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Continue to the Second Question for Darwinsists

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