Water contains oxygen

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In Atheist Experience show #568 2008-08-31, a caller offered the argument that
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In ''[[Atheist Experience]]'' show #[http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1959928855624648476# 568] (2008-08-31), a caller offered the argument that:
 
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# The chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the presence of [[wikipedia:oxygen|oxygen]].
# The chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the presence of oxygen.
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# [[wikipedia:Water|Water]], H<sub>2</sub>O, contains oxygen.
# Water, H2O, contains oxygen.
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# Therefore, chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the ocean.
 
# Therefore, chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the ocean.
  
 
The problem with this argument is that the chemical properties of water
 
The problem with this argument is that the chemical properties of water
 
and gaseous oxygen are very different.  Chemical behaviour is determined
 
and gaseous oxygen are very different.  Chemical behaviour is determined
by the shape of the outermost electron orbit and the number of electrons
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by the shape of the outermost [[wikipedia:electron orbit|electron orbit]] and the number of electrons
in it, not simply which elements are present.  An H2O molecule has three
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in it, not simply which [[wikipedia:element|element]]s are present.  An H<sub>2</sub>O molecule has three
atoms.  O2, gaseous oxygen, has two atoms.  Just with this simple
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atoms.  O<sub>2</sub>, gaseous oxygen, has two atoms.  Just with this simple
 
observation, it's clear that these two chemicals are going to have
 
observation, it's clear that these two chemicals are going to have
 
differently shaped electron shells and thus different properties.
 
differently shaped electron shells and thus different properties.
  
* [http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/molecule.html Shape of water]
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Furthermore, scientists think that the early atmosphere of [[Earth]] did not actually have large amounts of oxygen in it until after life arose, so the argument is irrelevant. For more information, see the Wikipedia articles on [[Wikipedia:Abiogenesis|Abiogenesis]] and [[Wikipedia:History of Earth|History of Earth]].
* [http://focus.aps.org/story/v14/st12 Shape of gaseous oxygen]
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==External links==
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* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXQwNHQQtDw Conclusive, Scientific Proof Of God... Fail - Atheist Experience 568], Youtube 8 minute segment
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* [http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/molecule.html Shape of water molecule]
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* [http://focus.aps.org/story/v14/st12 Shape of gaseous oxygen molecule]
  
 
[[Category:Arguments]]
 
[[Category:Arguments]]
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[[Category:Creationism]]
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[[Category:Science]]

Revision as of 21:51, 29 November 2010

In Atheist Experience show #568 (2008-08-31), a caller offered the argument that:

  1. The chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the presence of oxygen.
  2. Water, H2O, contains oxygen.
  3. Therefore, chemical precursors to life are not likely to form in the ocean.

The problem with this argument is that the chemical properties of water and gaseous oxygen are very different. Chemical behaviour is determined by the shape of the outermost electron orbit and the number of electrons in it, not simply which elements are present. An H2O molecule has three atoms. O2, gaseous oxygen, has two atoms. Just with this simple observation, it's clear that these two chemicals are going to have differently shaped electron shells and thus different properties.

Furthermore, scientists think that the early atmosphere of Earth did not actually have large amounts of oxygen in it until after life arose, so the argument is irrelevant. For more information, see the Wikipedia articles on Abiogenesis and History of Earth.

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