Joined: Feb. 2008
Kevin, I'm glad you are choosing to stick around. You no doubt can see a lot of folks are fairly irate about how they are being portrayed by the IDists. I hope you take that to heart but still engage with us.
I'd like to point out that tacitus did a bang up job of putting the Panspermia issue to rest.
Panspermia is not an alternative to biological evolution. No working scientist, that I'm aware of, thinks it is.
In fact, if there was the slightest chance that microbes had seeded the earth from "out there" they still would succumb to biological evolution to create the forms we see today and throughout biological history. Additionally, evolutionary forces would have played a part on their home world as well. So, it is not an alternative to evolution but rather an idea as to how biological systems might migrate between ecosystems...nothing more. There, that's done.
As for evolution saying something about the beginning of life, I understand your frustration. You'll hear people saying it doesn't address it. What they mean is that the "fact" of biological evolution doesn't address it....and what they mean by that is "genetic change over generations" or "change in allele frequency within populations over time" doesn't talk to the origin of life.
However, the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection may say something about abiogenesis, in concept.
Within the known operations of aquatic and organic chemistry, all you need is simple organic replicators, variations in stability, fecundity, concentration of and competition for available organics, etc. Voila! simple life, and probably very different than what we'd recognize today.
Is abiogenic evolution a strong theory? No. Is it tough to test? Yes. Is is logically consistant with science? Yes.
Creation or ID is not a theory at all, is impossible to test, and is not logically consistant with science.
So, the concept of evolution does have something to say about abiogenesis and the scientists who are looking into it are using biological evolution (both fact and theory) as a tool kit to guide their own studies.
But, the "fact of biological evolution", by definition, says nothing about the beginning of life.