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#51 llanitedave

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

Not necessarily. Most photosynthetic organisms don't do it, and neither to a lot of symbiotic organisms.

#52 Pess

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

Not necessarily. Most photosynthetic organisms don't do it, and neither to a lot of symbiotic organisms.


They would if they could but they can't so they don't.

Pesse (well, except for Venus Fly traps & Audrey) Mist

#53 llanitedave

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:57 PM

Only if you agree that you would eat sulphur if you could...

#54 dickbill

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

What would Earth look like today, if Life had never come to be?

No Oxygen, no pretty minerals (see that recent issue of Astronomy, 3-4 months ago), anoxic oceans, it's almost impossible to imagine.

#55 minos

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

The question if something deserves to live is of no importance, because it refers to a solely human made concept, and thus, it has nothing to do with reality.What is important is only what is already there,not what people think it should be …
At this point , I want to discuss a new study published in pnas, about air floating bacteria many kilometers above earth surface, with the ability to affect natural phenomena on earth such as rain, temperature etc.The study says there is a core microbiome of the lower atmosphere that previously was though to be dust and sea salt, and probably it can affect the climate….
I want to make some comments here:
a)More and more striking discoveries are coming into surface ,about the ways living and non living things interrelate here on earth.Life affects rivers, rain etc, and the latter affect life.The one depends on the other in ways that we previously didn’t know and the puzzle with their interrelationships is getting more and more complicated.They can’t be separated nor can the one exist without the other. Seems that they belong to the same system, but we just call life only the things with functional resemblance to us…..

b)About the core microbiome of the atmosphere: is it more logical to assume that these microbes choose to adapt in these harsh envinments, rather to assume that they represent the natural decay of the chemical reactions that are found on earth’s surface..
c)Given the environment in these high altitudes as well as in other unhostile places is not rich in nutrients , the metabolic rate of these microbes must be very low, actually they must be close to zero.And my ultimate question is:What is the core difference between these organisms and simple chemical compouns, since they are both virtually unchanging chemicals?(they are just complicated because they come from already existing complicated systems)

#56 Jarad

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

c)Given the environment in these high altitudes as well as in other unhostile places is not rich in nutrients , the metabolic rate of these microbes must be very low, actually they must be close to zero.


Depends. If they are photosynthesizers, then the upper atmosphere is actually a very nutrient-rich environment. Water vapor, CO2, N2 and lots of light makes a happy photosynthetic organism.

Jarad

#57 Ravenous

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:24 AM

c) [...] And my ultimate question is:What is the core difference between these organisms and simple chemical compouns, since they are both virtually unchanging chemicals?(they are just complicated because they come from already existing complicated systems)

I don't think we can describe near-dormant bacteria (if that is what these are) as virtually unchanging. Not if a system of these has evolved, because by definition the evolution implies something is changing over time. "Virtually unchanging" isn't well enough defined anyway - even inert, unliving solid matter can change its structure in time due to solid diffusion - that doesn't imply life.

#58 minos

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

As we previously stated, we are not completely objective observers of the universe, because we are a part inside the system.We are a system of chemical reactions, and so we can judge entities such as entropy, only in relativistic terms, because our own entropy is constantly changing.That is happening because we are composed from other things, and that’s why we are doomed in eternal subjectivity.
But the question is:are there objective observers in the universe?
As we are moving to smaller and simplier objects, we find better candidates that us, but still these can also be further subdivided.
But , according to quantum mechanics, virtually we cannot go smaller than the length of the light wave, because in that case, we cannot precisely estimate both the position and the speed of a particle.So, the best candidate for being the universal objective observer is the photon.
But, how are the laws of nature changing if we consider light as the only true observer?
From here on, we are moving to physics , and
I am not a physicist, so forgive me if my ideas sound stupid, but I want your opinion to this:
In electrical bulbs, the anode and the cathode are charged oppositely.The force that emerges between them is the natural tendency to contact to each other. The emerging force tries to bring the anode closer to the cathode.But this cannot happen, because of the design of the bulb.This resistance to the natural tendency is accompanied by the production of electromagnetic waves.Whether there is a causal effect, is very questionable.
Similarly, in a wire with electricity, the resistance of the wire resists to the natural tendency.
What is interesting is that if experiments showed that any opposition to the natural tendency of forces, creates electromagnetic radiation (e.g. destruction of atom nucleus, antigravity, or if we show that matter and antimatter opposses each other), and the level of resistance correlates with the amount of the produced electromagnetic radiation then we can make the amazing conclusion, that from the photons point of view, any natural tendency tends to lower the entropy of the system.Or else, from the lights point of view, there are no physical laws at all.Just the second law of thermodynamics.
This would mean that everything we perceive as natural laws are just the projections of the second law of thermodynamics because of our subjective point of view.If light is the only true observer, then the physical laws are the emergence of the entropic power of the universe.
Any thoughts?

#59 Jarad

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

But the question is:are there objective observers in the universe?


Yes. I am perfectly objective. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously biased. ;)

In electrical bulbs, the anode and the cathode are charged oppositely.


Um, what type of bulb are you talking about? In incandescent bulbs, there is a filament (small wire with high resistance) that the current flows through. The current heats the wire, which then glows through blackbody radiation (it emits a spectrum of light based on its temperature). Most of the energy actually turns into heat, relatively little into light.

In a fluorescent bulb, a high voltage current is generated through a low density gas, which ionizes the gas. As the electrons drop back into the positive ions, they emit discrete wavelengths of light through quantum drops. These are usually in the ultra-violet, and the bulb is coated with another fluorescent material which absorbs the UV and re-emits in the visible range (again, at discrete wavelengths). This is significantly more efficient than incandescents.

LED's work by a completely different mechanism (and I have to admit I am not completely clear on what it is - perhaps someone else here is more familiar with how they work). But they also emit specific discrete wavelengths, and are even more efficient than fluorescent, although generally also lower in power.

In all of them, though, more power = more light. For incandescent bulbs, if you increase the power with the same filament, you also change the temperature and the color. To increase brightness without changing color, you use a longer filament (same power per unit length produces the same temperature and color, but more length = more light).

So I am not sure the relationship you are postulating actually exists.

As for photons being observers, the only problem is that since they travel at the speed of light, from their point of view time pretty much stops. In their frame of reference, they are emitted from wherever they start, then instantaneously absorbed wherever they stop with no time or distance in between, even though to our frame it may look like billions of years (and billions of light years) passed in between. They are carriers of information from point A to point B, not receivers of it (which is what I presume you mean by an observer).

Jarad

#60 StarWars

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:04 PM




But Skipper.......Posted Image

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#61 llanitedave

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

They are carriers of information from point A to point B, not receivers of it (which is what I presume you mean by an observer).

Jarad


Although it's hard to see how they could carry information without receiving it.

EXCEPT, as you said, the transfer of energy/information is their entire existence. The "observer" in this case is that which absorbs the photon. It's objective in the sense that it's likely to be an object. And it has in principle, at least, a predictably consistent response to such an encounter.

I'm not sure how that applies to a living observer, though. We can be "objective" about our observations in the sense that our communications concerning them are strictly descriptive, rigorous, and mechanistic.

But the minute we say "Oh, WOW!", we've violated objectivity. Oh, well. I don't consider that to be a defect in my reaction, at least.

#62 dickbill

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

Maybe we can define 'objective' when the 'entirety of the information is transfered'. That should be the case for a photon but not for a human, as when we observe a mushroom, the entirety of the information contained in the mushroom is not transfered to the human observer, and this amount of information varies from observer to observer, therefore the non-objectvity.
In information theory the total amount of information is dependant of the probability of observing one particular bit of information (an the log of the number of all the items of information). For most untrained observers, the most likely element of information is the shape and the color (of the mushroom for example). But let's imagine the shapes and colors of different mushroom species vary very little, then the most likely item of information that untrained observers retrieve from observing mushrooms, when trying to identify their species and edibility, actually contains very little information regarding their toxicity. Only trained experts, able to retrieve small differences, unlikely to be perceived by untrained observers, might be able to identify the correct species. So who will decide who has retrieved the most information? Natural Selection, since the poisonous mushrooms have killed all the non-experts.

Natural Selection acts as a filter of 'objectivity', which, combined with 'Evolution' (=constant measurement of the environment), provides a darwinian non-casusal mechanism to explain the increase in complexity during evolution.
What's puzzling is indeed that human observers are part of the Universe, so the universe is observing himself, like a photon going to point A to point A. That's, IMO, when Evolution starts to depart from pure non causal darwinism to something else. Some may argue that an 'infinitely small part of universe' is not 'the Universe' but we are a growing part, at some point it will make little difference.
If you believe in the concept of Noospshere,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere
the Noosphere is expending. The definition in Wikipedia restrains the Noosphere to human consciousness but in my personnal opinion, all living creature are concerned. While watching a show on dolphins, i thought that in the next 10 million years it is unlikely that they will grow arms and legs since they are already so well adapted to their environment, the only thing left for them to evolve is to increase their sphere of consciousness. Maybe ants will do that too, maybe mushrooms too in a billion years from now.

#63 StarWars

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

If you believe in the concept of Noospshere,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere
the Noosphere is expending. The definition in Wikipedia restrains the Noosphere to human consciousness but in my personnal opinion, all living creature are concerned. While watching a show on dolphins, i thought that in the next 10 million years it is unlikely that they will grow arms and legs since they are already so well adapted to their environment, the only thing left for them to evolve is to increase their sphere of consciousness. Maybe ants will do that too, maybe mushrooms too in a billion years from now.




Biological entities don't decide to grow lungs or feet just because.. :rollgrin:

This process requires a Intelligent design of some type.. :o

#64 moynihan

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Noosphere is a spiritual concept if i remember correctly, (Vladimir Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin). It is not a scientific concept. Neither is intelligent design.

#65 Pess

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:00 PM

As for photons being observers, the only problem is that since they travel at the speed of light, from their point of view time pretty much stops. In their frame of reference, they are emitted from wherever they start, then instantaneously absorbed wherever they stop with no time or distance in between, even though to our frame it may look like billions of years (and billions of light years) passed in between. They are carriers of information from point A to point B, not receivers of it (which is what I presume you mean by an observer).


So you are saying Tide & Time wait for no man but are perfectly happy waiting for photons?

Pesse (Doesn't sound rightly fair) Mist

#66 Jarad

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:38 PM

So you are saying Tide & Time wait for no man but are perfectly happy waiting for photons?



Actually, it's more the other way around. From the photons' point of view, all of the tides and time happened instantaneously. They blinked and missed the universe.

Jarad

#67 minos

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:49 AM

Of course, there are natural laws around us and we are not going to abandon our own perspective, only because thats what we believe!!We will abandon it only if we find a new model first, that describes what we see around us in a simpler,better way , that agrees with experimental and observable data!And of course, a single experiment in which a new theory fails ,is enough to disprove it, no matter how many experiments agree with it!
Of course, a scientist must have a strong intuition, to realise what is important.
Personally, i am a fan of simplicity.I always believed that the more complicated a scientific work is, the more likely it is false.Also, if you try to support lies, the effort would be endless.
Anyway, i want to add to my previous:
We showed that if scientific experiments support the notion that there is only one true observer in nature, the light, and for light there is only one law in nature, the second law of thermodynamics, and what we perceive are just projections of the laws, due to the fact we are part inside the system that makes us subjective observers from a certain point and after, we would expect that:
In the heart of massive gravitational objects, where the attractive forces between molecules are huge, we would expect that due to kinetic energy and due to the limitations of quantum mechanics, there would be a huge opposition to this natural attractive force, that would lead to a huge release of electromagnetic radiation.So we would expect that while observing galaxies, their center to be brighter, instead of being black because of a black hole!and of course thats what happening!
In other words,for light, the entropy of a galaxy is always decreasing

#68 minos

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:57 AM

oups!!sorry!!
increasing

#69 Ravenous

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:18 AM

We showed that if scientific experiments support the notion that there is only one true observer in nature, the light, and for light there is only one law in nature,


If the photon experiences only one law of nature (the second law), then it is a very poor choice of observer.

So far you've said that life is random chemical reactions (agreed) and entropy increases (agreed). I don't see what the question is.

I am not a physicist,

Well neither am I (just an engineer, and a slightly educated ape) but I suggest just starting by studying a bit more of physics helps (and not reading pop science books). There's enough wonder for most people there without trying to propose alternative laws of physics.

#70 Jarad

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:57 AM

We showed that if scientific experiments support the notion that there is only one true observer in nature, the light, and for light there is only one law in nature, the second law of thermodynamics

Um, I am not sure how you showed that,and scientific experiments do not support that light is the only "true observer".

In the heart of massive gravitational objects, where the attractive forces between molecules are huge, we would expect that due to kinetic energy and due to the limitations of quantum mechanics, there would be a huge opposition to this natural attractive force, that would lead to a huge release of electromagnetic radiation.


Again, not sure how this follows, unless you are simply pointing out that things that are hot (i.e. with high kinetic energy) emit light (blackbody radiation).

Of course, in stars most of the heat comes from nuclear fusion. Simple compression of the gas will produce some heat due to gravity and kinetic energy (which is what I think you are describing), and this heat is what helps ignite the fusion in the first place, but it isn't sufficient to produce the amount of energy we see stars giving off.

So we would expect that while observing galaxies, their center to be brighter, instead of being black because of a black hole!and of course thats what happening!



The center of galaxies appear bright because the stars are generally most dense there. The black hole itself is so small we cannot resolve them directly, and when they are quiescent they won't have any measureable effect on the brightness of the galaxy core (too small). When they are accreting, the gas falling in can actually outshine the whole galaxy (and in this case, it is due to compression and kinetic energy as the gas falls in).

Jarad

#71 Pess

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:58 PM

In the heart of massive gravitational objects, where the attractive forces between molecules are huge, we would expect that due to kinetic energy and due to the limitations of quantum mechanics, there would be a huge opposition to this natural attractive force, that would lead to a huge release of electromagnetic radiation.



Pesse (Yup, it is called a 'Supernova') Mist

#72 SteveMushynsky

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Custom viruses can now be made from scratch as delivery agents for included drug molecules and can be specifically tailored to attack cancer cells. Food for thought.

#73 SteveMushynsky

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

Biological entities don't decide to grow lungs or feet just because

Actually, given a potential advantage in developing same and unlimited time to do so, yes they do.

This process requires a Intelligent design of some type

This is a political/religious solution in search of an answer.
God is by definition ineffable.
Intelligent design is hubris - Assuming the ineffable can be 'effed' according to a political stance by choosing to ignore the knowledge achieved through science.

#74 Jarad

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:13 PM

Custom viruses can now be made from scratch as delivery agents for included drug molecules and can be specifically tailored to attack cancer cells. Food for thought.

Actually, we aren't quite to that point yet. We can modify existing viruses to add a drug molecule as a payload, or modify them to preferentially attack cancer cells. Designing one from scratch is still beyond our ability. And a lot of the modification is by "lab evolution", where we randomly mutate then select for the ones that do what we want, not by denovo design.

Jarad

#75 SteveMushynsky

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:14 PM

Custom viruses can now be made from scratch as delivery agents for included drug molecules and can be specifically tailored to attack cancer cells. Food for thought.


Actually, we aren't quite to that point yet. We can modify existing viruses to add a drug molecule as a payload, or modify them to preferentially attack cancer cells. Designing one from scratch is still beyond our ability. And a lot of the modification is by "lab evolution", where we randomly mutate then select for the ones that do what we want, not by denovo design.


Scientists Build Virus from Scratch
Thu Jul 11, 2:36 PM ET
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using only a genetic map as a guide, U.S. researchers said on Thursday they had built a polio ( news - web sites) virus from scratch and used it to infect and paralyze lab mice.
http://research.life...om/virus.htm<br />
<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">


It appears we have crossed that line already and combined techniques would seem to be conceptually possible as all components have been effected separately, at least.






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