L. Ron Dawkins

Corsi and Smith argue that the deep abiotic theory of oil is a more reliable theory than the fossil fuel theory. It rejects the contention that oil was formed from the remains of plant and animal life that died millions of years ago. Instead, they believe in Thomas Gold’s argument that oil is abiotic: “a primordial material that the earth forms and exudes on a continual basis” and is “pushed upward toward the earth’s surface by the intense pressures of the earth’s core and the influence of the centrifugal force that the earth exerted upon the specific gravity of oil as a fluid substance.”

Even as a child, I never understood how oil was supposed to be produced by squishing plants and animals. If that were the case, then a) why is it so much more common than fossil material and b) why is oil in Venezuala pretty much the same stuff as oil in Saudi Arabia? And why can’t we just squash some ferns and lizards if we need to make more?

My dad once deeply upset a biologist with whom he was talking one day when he pointed out that the calcium in milk couldn’t possibly come from the cow’s bones; because he grew up on a dairy farm, he knew the amount of calcium in the milk produced over a cow’s lifetime exceeds the amount contained in its skeleton.

It’s interesting how arrogant scientists can be despite the fact that so much of our understanding of how the world works is based on their reasonable conjectures, never mind how much past reasonable conjecture is now known to be wrong. This bit in “The Selfish Gene” made me laugh out loud:

At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator…. Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and in me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines….

For simplicity I have given the impression that modern genes, made of DNA, are much the same as the first replicators in the primeval soup. It does not matter for the argument, but this may not really be true. The original replicators may have been a related kind of molecule to DNA, or they may have been totally different. In the latter case we might say that their survival machines must have been seized at a later stage by DNA. If so, the original replicators were utterly destroyed, for no trace of them remains in modern survival machines.

As I have previously noted, much “science” is increasingly less concerned with empirical evidence and rather more devoted to ontological speculation. Now, there’s nothing wrong with such speculation and certainly it’s possible for it to somehow advance human knowledge. But to call it science is a misnomer; Richard Dawkins openly admits here that he has no more evidence for his hypothetical founding “Replicator” than he has for God. In this particular example, he is writing as a sciencist, not a scientist.

But don’t let that vital distinction slow you down when you’re criticizing those ignorant of the latest developments in scientific ontology… or should I say… scientology?