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minos
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Reged: 10/17/12

origin of life
      #5474608 - 10/17/12 08:01 AM

When somebody is studying the phenomenon of viruses ,he can see that when viruses are not coming in contact with a host organism, they are a sum of chemical compounds that not fulfill the criteria to be considered as life.While on the other hand they start reacting with a host, or in other words they start making chemical reactions with the compounds of the host,they become alive.The same thing happens with prions ,which are proteinaceous compounds that while they react with proteins of the host, they become alive in a way.....Lets hypothesize that we make the hypothesis that:No living organism is possible to remain unchanged structurally.Lets hypothesize that this rule is principal in nature and nothing could go beyond it or prove that it is untrue.What would that mean to the way that we see the world?First of all lets make clear what we mean: An organism that would remain unchanged structurally during a very small period of time,would be considered as not living for that period. When we say unchanged we mean of course that there are not taking place any chemical reactions inside it.Maybe there is a single cell inside an organism that is unchanged,but the rest of the cells are changing. We say then that this organism has a dead cell.,but the organism as a whole is alive.Maybe this cell would be able to regain life if it react with the appropriate signals.But maybe not.If we want to see the consequences of our hypothesis in the nature we meet the question:what is the least that can be considered as life?For example, a mitochondrion can be considered life according to what we said, but a simple chemical molecule cannot,unless it reacts with another molecule or substance.At the moment of the reaction these two substances are the least that is considerd life.So, a simple chemical reaction as long as it happens ,is the simpliest form of life, or else, the sparkle of life.That means that the superior organisms as well as all the organism is a summation of chemical reactions.The advantages of the hypethesis that we made is that we can explain successfully the prions and the viruses.


..The new hypothesis also says that life existed before the first cell,in the form of chemical reactions.Scientists have accepted that life was originated from a single cell,which was the first cell on earth, and composed the first thing that was a form of life. The evolution of this cell had as a result the formation of life the way that we know and see today. A problem with this idea is that, as we know, if we had just a single cell in earth right now, and out of it there was nothing, then not only this would not lead to the formation of more complicated forms of life,but this single cell soon would be dead.Despite of that,most scientists accept the single cell theory.The new theory that we introduced claims that the existence a first single cell was not necessary to start the evolutionary process that would lead to life as we know it today, but says that life preexisted , because even a single chemical reaction is a form of life.The creation of the first cell actually is the result of the existence of life.
The property of reproduction in living beings that are chemical reactions seem

s to actually be a result of the energy that forces the chemical reactions to continue happening.Life continues because chemical reactions continue.Reproduction seems to be one of the most ancient properties.

Lets see now another problem: In the beginning, life on earth was simplier than today. That means that there was a system of chemical reactions that gave its place to a more complicated one.This sounds a bit strange because if a system of chemical reactions does not get energy from outside, leads to an equilibrium state. If we accept that our new theory is true, means that there had to be an external source of energy{probably the large quantities of energy that comes everyday on earth from the light of the sun that lead not only to the survival of the first forms of life, but also to their survival of the first forms of life, but also in their evolution.Imagine that with the help of a sourse of light we cultivated in a way,some chemical reactions in a small place.After a period of time,they are getting more and more complicated.Lets hypothesize that someday the whole system becomes extremely complicated.We could not see nothing more but a mixture of colours and shapes.This is life.But human is a part of this complicated system which means that he sees things in a mirror like way,because he is in the system.so it is very difficult for him to see life in an objective way.

living organisms normally are not dying because the chemical reactions that are composing them are continuing happening.if we analyze all these reactions we will have a very good view to their homeostasis.As we said we are seeing the world from the inside , or else in a mirror like direction, because we our selves are part of things, so we appreciate things from its results.We think that homeostasis is a very magical and perfect mechanism, because we are the result of homeostasis, but the theory that we analyzed says that homeostasis simply is the cataloge of the chemical reactions that are still happening, and just because they keep happening, the organism is alive.The complex organic compounds that are composing living creatures probably are the results of many years of reactions, or else they are the fingerprints of the reactions from the beginning of all the reactions till today.

We are the results of all these , and so it is normal to think that if something was not the way it is, WE would not be there, the way we are!So we think that they are essential for us and everything was arranged perfectly, and if something was a bit different ,we would not be there, but as i told everything depends on who is the observer.We are a changing complex, and everything that happens lead to us.We see things from the opposite side though.


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dyslexic nam
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5475484 - 10/17/12 05:12 PM

Well, that is one heck of an entrance. Welcome to CN

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dickbill
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Reged: 09/30/08

Re: origin of life new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5475718 - 10/17/12 07:21 PM

Yes, some have said Humans are 'measuring' the universe, almost in the sense 'you have been measured, you have been weighted' to test your finite limits to reduce you. That is, Humans are extracting information out of the Universe. But, 'obviously', we humans are part of the Universe. So the Universe is measuring itself. That is inescapable, unless you remove the word 'obviously', which in science is the evilest qualificative never to be used.

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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5475908 - 10/17/12 09:31 PM

Quote:

Lets hypothesize that we make the hypothesis that:No living organism is possible to remain unchanged structurally.




I would argue that your criteria is required for life, but not sufficient for it. By that simple definition, fire is alive. So is a rusting piece of metal, or an eroding piece of rock, or a sand dune shifting in the wind.

Viruses and prions are an interesting class. I would argue that they are not in fact fully alive (viruses are closer than prions). Viruses have part of the machinery necessary for life, but are not fully alive by themselves - they must commandeer a living cell in order to fill in the missing gaps. A prion can only produce more prions in the presence of the correct precursor protein - it is essentially a misfolded protein that can "recruit" properly folded ones into the same misfunctional conformation.

I think that life evolved from simpler self-replicating molecules. You can thing of them as precursors to life, if you like, or nearly-life. You are correct that there must have been precursors that were simpler than what we consider to be life now, but just changing the definition to be looser doesn't really answer the question.

Jarad


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5475927 - 10/17/12 09:38 PM

I agree. A prion is a pretty simple automaton that essentially does one thing and one thing only. A virus cannot exist without a pre-existing cell to infect, so it can't really have been primary to any other life form, regardless of what you choose to call it now.

I'm sure there was a period that we would consider to be a fuzzy gray area between life and non-life. Maybe bare replicating molecules that did little else but copy themselves on a substrate. Maybe some two stage process, where one molecule would catalyze the creation of a second, and the second would catalyze the creation of the first. Maybe some combination of the two, and other combinations unknown.

But this isn't a new hypothesis. It's pretty much mainstream as far as I've read.

And btw, minos, welcome to Cloudy Nights!


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Kon Dealer
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5477484 - 10/18/12 06:00 PM

Read up on "LUCA"

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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5478547 - 10/19/12 10:35 AM

“Lets hypothesize that we make the hypothesis that: No living organism is possible to remain unchanged structurally. Lets hypothesize that this rule is principal in nature and nothing could go beyond it or prove that it is untrue. “

I would posit that one does not have to state that as a hypothesis. It is an observable condition, i.e. a fact. As is often said, change is the only constant.

“The complex organic compounds that are composing living creatures probably are the results of many years of reactions, or else they are the fingerprints of the reactions from the beginning of all the reactions till today.”

Yep.


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5478973 - 10/19/12 02:56 PM

Quote:

a simple chemical reaction as long as it happens ,is the simpliest form of life




So by this definition seeds are not alive? Spores are not alive?


Hmmm, further speculation: are sperm and unfertilized eggs alive?

You can create cell-like vacuoles containing chemicals that are reacting...are they alive?

Not so simple, eh?

Pesse (Welcome to the worm hole) Mist


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5478988 - 10/19/12 03:04 PM

Life is analogous to a row of chairs on a stage. To the far right we have complex multicellular animals. As we move left we go down in life complexity finally to prokaryote, virus and then prion....depending on your definition of 'life' you can separate the dividing line anywhere.

For myself, I feel there is no dividing live..just a sliding gray scale from muck to complex life.

Pesse (Kinda gives a new twist to 'Shades of Gray') ist


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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5479024 - 10/19/12 03:27 PM

It's the Andromeda Strain, isn't it?

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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5479062 - 10/19/12 03:52 PM

Quote:

So by this definition seeds are not alive? Spores are not alive?



Well, those are again a bit of a special case. Spores and seeds are in stasis - not currently living, but with the potantial to come to life given the correct conditions.

Quote:

You can create cell-like vacuoles containing chemicals that are reacting...are they alive?



If they aren't capable of self-replicating, then no.

Jarad


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Kon Dealer
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5479125 - 10/19/12 04:52 PM

Viruses are capable of evolution- most years a "new" 'flu virus comes around. Or look at HIV- it's "sloppy" replication allows the production of many different strains which can outpace our immune systems and rapidly become resistant to anti-HIV drugs.
So are viruses alive?

Or consider some seeds/spores. They can exist for hundreds, if not thousands of years, without any metabolism- an anabiotic state. However given the correct environmental conditions are still capable of germination, growth and reproduction.

I agree with Pess. Where do you draw the line?


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Kon Dealer]
      #5479178 - 10/19/12 05:36 PM

Where do you draw the line between red and orange in a rainbow?

Pick a spot, and draw it.

For the definition of life, I like this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life#Definitions

Viruses come close, but not quite. They cannot reproduce without a suitable host cell, they do not grow (they make exact copies of the same size), nor do they metabolize (they rely on the host cell's machinery for that), nor do they perform homeostasis (they again rely on the host cell to perform that function). They do respond to stimuli (binding to a host cell), they do reproduce, and they do adapt. So 3 out of 7 ain't bad, but it ain't life.

Seeds and spores are capable of germinating into life, but they are in a state of stasis. I would classify them as "potential life" until they germinate, then they are alive.

Jarad


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imjeffp
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5481180 - 10/20/12 11:17 PM

I remember reading once about Mad Cow Disease that you can't kill a prion, since it isn't even alive to begin with.

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: imjeffp]
      #5481220 - 10/21/12 12:09 AM

You can't kill 'em, but you might be able to make 'em mad.

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brentwood
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5481281 - 10/21/12 01:08 AM

Many years ago, experiments were conducted in which electrical fields were generated in a sealed container containing various elements and compounds. The result was a gooey mess that contained amino acids, that were explained as the 'building blocks' of life.
This was a long time ago and I was wondering if those experiments or something similar had been done recently to try & get further up the ladder of Life?


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DarkSkys
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Re: origin of life new [Re: brentwood]
      #5481332 - 10/21/12 02:33 AM

Quote:

Many years ago, experiments were conducted in which electrical fields were generated in a sealed container containing various elements and compounds. The result was a gooey mess that contained amino acids, that were explained as the 'building blocks' of life.
This was a long time ago and I was wondering if those experiments or something similar had been done recently to try & get further up the ladder of Life?




I think the problem you would run into after makeing the AA's, is time.


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5485263 - 10/23/12 01:15 PM

well, actually the whole idea is that the definition of life is made only because we are a part of it.we call life everything that looks like us.As long as a virus or a spore has metabolism and make similar processes like us, we call it alive, but when they have zero metabolism, we find it hard to consider it alive.Fire on the other hand doesnt look enough like us to consider it alive.
Life is a creation of our mind, to describe anything that is like us,eg an ongoing system of reactions.It doesnt exist as an objective thing in the universe.For example a stone that is travelling million light years away from earth, can only see a soup of random, meaningless chemical reactions near the surface of earth, because it is not participating in the system.....
It is not necessary that the first self replicated thing created protolife...instead (near)self replication could be the result of the fact that the reactions were continuing to happen in the young earth(and so we,as the result, judge it from the opposite direction).


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5485420 - 10/23/12 02:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

So by this definition seeds are not alive? Spores are not alive?



Well, those are again a bit of a special case. Spores and seeds are in stasis - not currently living, but with the potantial to come to life given the correct conditions.

Quote:

You can create cell-like vacuoles containing chemicals that are reacting...are they alive?



If they aren't capable of self-replicating, then no.

Jarad




Well Jarad, you made my case. If there are 'Special cases' then you can't make a dividing line. No matter what reasonable definition you put on life I can find a Special case exception.

Prions are just a protein but can self replicate using another cells machinery...well, you might say, they are not doing the chemistry themselves so they are not technically alive.

OK, but can YOU (you in the generic sense, of course) self replicate without help from another organism?

Chemical reactions go from simple hydrogen-Oxygen plus spark equals water all the way up to complex ballet like interactions that we unequivocally point to as the chemistry of life.

What is life? The answer becomes more complex if we ask "What is not life/"

What if we take an elephant zygote and remove its nucleus? Does it still live? What if we now insert a mastodon DNA nucleus? Did we create life?

Did the Ford assembly line build a car even though it only assembled parts built elsewhere? Does the steel foundry create the car when it creates rolls of steel? Does the stamping company create the car when it stamps out the block and covers and other metal parts to ship to the factory?

Are we only creating life when we start with the periodic table of elements and move down the tet tube assemb;y line to a fully functioning cell?

Pesse (Did Dr Frankenstein create life, or only sew some parts together?) Mist


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5485658 - 10/23/12 05:01 PM

I guess I just don't see these issues as problems.

We set a definition, then we abide by it. If we see an example that we think is mis-classified by the definition, then we adjust the definition.

I am comfortable that the current definition correctly defines prions and viruses as "not life". I don't find seeds and spores to be a problem for the definition - while they are dormant, they are not currently alive, but have the potential to come to life given the right conditions. The current definition correctly classifies them both while dormant (not alive) and after germination (alive).

For your other question, if we remove the nucleus from a cell then it is no longer alive - it cannot replicate, nor grow. If we replace the nucleus with one with a complete mastodon genome, then it is now alive again, and a different species. Does that mean we have created life? That depends more on your definition of "create" than that of "life".

Jarad


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5486997 - 10/24/12 01:16 PM

Jarad-

I was not trying to promote a point.

I was trying to ask questions and cite examples the 'muddy' points others were making.

If you take something defined as 'not life' and you do something to it so now you call it 'alive' you have ipso facto created life. Saying you need a special definition of 'create' to go there is too much reminiscent of an ex-president asking to define what 'is' is.

I think I was trying to get across that any definition of life that includes everything is too broad to be meaningful and one that is narrowed down will inevitably exclude many, many legit examples.

Pesse (Seeds CAN reproduce--just add water. Just as I CAN reproduce--just add hot blonde) Mist


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5487106 - 10/24/12 02:32 PM

I was pointing out that it is more along the line of your car example - if a factory assembles parts made elsewhere, have they "created" a car? If we inserted a genome that we had designed from scratch, I would say we have "created" life. If we insert a genome we copied from a mastodon, I am not sure how much we "created". Maybe it would be better in both cases to say "assembled". The car factory assembled the car, and by replacing the genome we have assembled a living cell.

But the similarity between the two example is because the key question there is about "creating", not about "life". There is no question that what went into the factory was not a car, and what comes out of the factory is a car. So the definition of "car" isn't the issue there, and the definition of "life" isn't the issue in the other example.

Jarad


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5487251 - 10/24/12 04:12 PM

Quote:

I was pointing out that it is more along the line of your car example - if a factory assembles parts made elsewhere, have they "created" a car? If we inserted a genome that we had designed from scratch, I would say we have "created" life. If we insert a genome we copied from a mastodon, I am not sure how much we "created". Maybe it would be better in both cases to say "assembled". The car factory assembled the car, and by replacing the genome we have assembled a living cell.

But the similarity between the two example is because the key question there is about "creating", not about "life". There is no question that what went into the factory was not a car, and what comes out of the factory is a car. So the definition of "car" isn't the issue there, and the definition of "life" isn't the issue in the other example.

Jarad




very good points.

Pesse (But I still say my Pet Rock is adorable & alive .) Mist


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Jason H.
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5490916 - 10/26/12 09:45 PM

One may find the following articles of interest

Abiogenesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

AND
Nanobacterium

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanobacteria

"...evidence for life cannot rest on morphology alone" (because other processes may mimic it)

Jason W. Higley


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minos
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Reged: 10/17/12

Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5578816 - 12/19/12 12:08 PM

I don't know how can i better explain my thoughts, but i think the whole concept is extremely plain and simple, even though someone should be willing to think by himself, in order to appreciate them.
The basic idea goes like this:
i am arguing that life is an open system that is getting energy from the sun.BUT i am also arguing that if you consider life as a WHOLE (without dividing it into species ,organisms, etc) ,you get a sum of just RANDOM chemical reactions.
If we were totally objective observers ,or else we had nothing to do with life,we would be able to see it.But unfortunately, we cannot do that, because of our perspective.We are a small part of these reactions and we are living inside the system, so we judge from a perspective that is confusing when you are trying to study what is life.
The natural history of these reactions led to the forms we see today.Through our perspective, while we are studying this history, we see it as evolution. We see everywhere determinism, but its only because we are the results of all these.


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5578835 - 12/19/12 12:26 PM

Quote:


The basic idea goes like this:
i am arguing that life is an open system that is getting energy from the sun.BUT i am also arguing that if you consider life as a WHOLE (without dividing it into species ,organisms, etc) ,you get a sum of just RANDOM chemical reactions.
The natural history of these reactions led to the forms we see today.Through our perspective, while we are studying this history, we see it as evolution. We see everywhere determinism, but its only because we are the results of all these.




I disagree with two of your statements:

"random chemical reactions"-- If I have several hundred alphabet blocks and I dump them on the floor until I get a recognizable word. I then 'dump' the same way to get that same word--it is not random because I am purposely selecting how I dump the blocks so that same word comes up again. Now occasionally I drink and I slightly muff the dumping of the blocks in such a way a new, more complex word, or even a sentence pops up. I say WOW! and I switch to the new method of dumping the blocks so I repeat the result.

This is not 'random' in the traditional sense since I purposely select for the outcome. Outcomes I don't like are not repeated. Same with selection pressures on these various random chemical reactions---selection favors combinations & reactions that can repeat themselves (ie: make sense) and discards what doesn't. Given enough selections over a long enough period of time and you can eventually get enough of the 'spilled block words' to form a coherent novel.

Determinism, by definition, states that given an intial set of circumstances than there is only one possible outcome. I guess this is correct if your outcome is 'life'. But any narrower than that and you off script.

Remember, selection pressures can only work on what spills out of random mistake events.

I would guess that any given mistake potential to be beneficial would be almost vanishingly small yet if you repeat billions of times that is enough to move you forward.

Pesse (Monkeys & typewriters & such) Mist


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Joad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5578836 - 12/19/12 12:28 PM

Let's get even more basic.

Look at what happens when we try to define a "planet".

Or anything, really.

Classification is the result of a human thought process that works well enough for practical purposes but breaks down when we really get into the details. This is because classification is, as it were, a "digital" process that divides reality into discrete areas. But reality isn't "digital"; it is "analog," as it were, a dynamically complex continuum of interrelationships. (Yes, I know about quantum theory and am not for a second dismissing it: but even the quantum unit is a matter of something in some sort of motion: the "vibration" is integral to the identity of the "particle," so two different categories (mass and motion) are related in such a way as to upset the categorical distinction. Or, to use a simpler example, water ice is, well, a solid at a certain temperature (energy of molecular motion), but it isn't a solid (ice) any longer at a higher energy. So what "is" water ice? A combination of matter and motion, neither one nor the other alone.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in thinking in discrete categories, but let's just say that the definition of what life "is" is not something that we are going to be able to determine.


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5579024 - 12/19/12 02:16 PM

I think of it like this:
We can define "red" vs. "orange" in the rainbow - let's say that the dividing line between them is at 620 nm. But to our eye, we can barely distinguish 619 vs. 621 nm, even though one is now defined as "orange" and the other "red". If we look at 590 vs 650, we will all clearly agree that 590 is orange and 650 is red, but the border is somewhat arbitrary.

Same for most things we define. They aren't black and white, they are continuum where the dividing lines are up for discussion.

Jarad


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minos
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Reged: 10/17/12

Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5618518 - 01/12/13 06:50 AM

Pess:
How do you define what is correct?
Selection favors combinations and reactions that offers surviving benefit.But when we have random chemical reactions, wont the most unstable and non sustainable reactions disappear or transform into more succesful(not leading to dead end) ones?
So given the perspective into which we judge the phenomenon , doesnt this mean that they are the two different options of the same coin?


Joan:
Of course Nature is the Great Authority.We just try to adjust our definitions to explain some phenomena.Discrepancies between our definitions and reality, are due to various reasons that range between incomplete theories and definitions on one side, and we "got it all totally wrong" on the other...


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5619310 - 01/12/13 03:45 PM

Quote:


How do you define what is correct?





Taking this approach will steer you wrong most of the time. You don't "define" what is correct so much as you "discover" what is correct.


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faackanders2
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5619652 - 01/12/13 06:57 PM

When they look for evidence of life on Mars, they are looking for past life. If something lived, it did have life.

cell (plant and animal), bacteria, and viruses all live.
Even a waterbear can go dormant for years and come back to life, and that is a celled creature.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5623066 - 01/14/13 04:55 PM

Quote:


Pess:
How do you define what is correct?
Selection favors combinations and reactions that offers surviving benefit.But when we have random chemical reactions, wont the most unstable and non sustainable reactions disappear or transform into more succesful(not leading to dead end) ones?
So given the perspective into which we judge the phenomenon , doesnt this mean that they are the two different options of the same coin?




I'm a little shaky on what you mean here.

There really is no right or wrong reaction here. There is only what is repeatable. Repeatability is ultimately what is selected for.

And, yes, errors and none reproducible mistakes probably out number those mistakes that are sustainable by billions to one...but having one endure means it stays around until the next mistake either improves on it or adds to it in a way that makes it even MORE reproducible.

Likely the first cell precursors were simple vacuoles that contained complex organic molecules. Certain configurations of this molecules perhaps help sustain the vacuoles integrity over a wide variety of environmental conditions and, so, these types of vacuoles and their contents were selected for.

Now I understand it is a big leap from a vacuole that is not alive and a simple bag of organic chemicals, but selection pressures work just the same.

In fact selection pressures are all around us. You don't see quill & ink pens around any more because the ball point pen was invented and people 'selected' the better organism. Directed selection, yes. But a selection pressure nonetheless.

viruses probably came about after a bit of RNA got caught inside a bit of protein cell wall. Bacteria growing together constantly exchange genetic material with each other in a similar manner.

Now you get a piece of genetic RNA or DNA that calls for its own replication and then 'bumps' into a healthy cell and, viola, you have a new organism.

Pesse (..and 1 billion flu virus varients this season alone..) Mist


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5630216 - 01/18/13 04:25 PM

Llanitedave: What is correct is what you discover, but if you don’t take human perspective into account, then you might make the same mistake as those that believe that earth is flat, or the sun is rotating around earth, just because that is what we observe with our eyes.Just the fact that we abandoned geocentricism , didn’t make us absolutely objective observers for everything yet.I think there is still way to go…..


Pess:To make it simple, you are arguing that vacuoles and the property of repeatability are causes of life.Well, I am saying that they both are the results of it.The natural history of complex chemical reactions, especialy ,when they went organic and complicated, was the creation of forms like vacuols.There is no meaning in isolating parts of life.A vacuole if left alone, will not lead to the creation of life, but it will most probably get destroyed.Life can only exist as an entire entity instead.
As on repeatability, I think its obvious that in a chaos of chemical reactions, only those with some kind of repeatability and periodicity will not lead to a dead end and will be able to continue In the long term.So, generally, these are the ones that survived, and that’s what through our perspective understand as rebirth, reproduction etc etc

p.s. I want to thank you for your useful feedback , that helps me building up a different pattern and analyze it for logical flaws.Someone must be aware of what he has before he seeks specific experiments to check its validity.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5630290 - 01/18/13 05:32 PM

Quote:

but it will most probably get destroyed.Life can only exist as an entire entity instead.




I totally disagree with this statement. I don't think you can look at the spectrum of organic chemical reactions and say..'at this point there be life'...

If life can be boiled down to a series of organic chemical reactions, then at what point does a series of chemical reactions become the chemistry of life?

Pesse (Life is an arbitrary boundary.) Mist


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5630556 - 01/18/13 08:39 PM

Quote:

I don't think you can look at the spectrum of organic chemical reactions and say..'at this point there be life'...




Sure we can. We just have to be aware that there is a certain amount of arbitrariness to where we put the dividing line, and that no matter where we put it, there is going to be very little difference between things are close to the line on either side.

There is no univerally accepted definition of life, but I like this one.

The key is to base the definition on things that make sense. By the current definition, viruses are not alive. They are clearly close, but not quite. We could move the definition to allow them to be alive, but then we'll just have the same issue again with prions, which are a bit further down the scale, etc.

Jarad

Edited by Jarad (01/18/13 08:44 PM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5630653 - 01/18/13 10:02 PM

Quote:

Llanitedave: What is correct is what you discover, but if you don’t take human perspective into account, then you might make the same mistake as those that believe that earth is flat, or the sun is rotating around earth, just because that is what we observe with our eyes.Just the fact that we abandoned geocentricism , didn’t make us absolutely objective observers for everything yet.I think there is still way to go…..





Of course there's a way to go. There always will be. And you're going to make mistakes. Don't fear them. They're part of the discovery process. The biggest mistake is when we enshrine our previous mistakes in dogma and prohibit the continued quest, the questioning of what we think we know, and the freedom to change our views.

The great thing about the scientific method is that it doesn't require objective observers, only broadly curious ones. You may lack objectivity and I may lack objectivity, but as long as our curiosity remains intact, and we remain free to disagree and to expose different sides of a question, then we can continue to drill down towards deeper and broader answers -- and the new questions that follow from them.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5634559 - 01/21/13 09:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I don't think you can look at the spectrum of organic chemical reactions and say..'at this point there be life'...




Sure we can. We just have to be aware that there is a certain amount of arbitrariness to where we put the dividing line, and that no matter where we put it, there is going to be very little difference between things are close to the line on either side.

There is no univerally accepted definition of life, but I like this one.

The key is to base the definition on things that make sense. By the current definition, viruses are not alive. They are clearly close, but not quite. We could move the definition to allow them to be alive, but then we'll just have the same issue again with prions, which are a bit further down the scale, etc.

Jarad





I think you made my point: 'There be life here.' is an arbitrary point.

But the disconcerting thing that follows is that, if life is such an arbitrary point in a series of progressively more complex organic chemical reactions, then doesn't it follow that life is no more 'special' than, say, a neat rock?

Does my Pet Rock have the same right to existence as me?

I granite to you that this is a silly argument, but is it a valid one?

And before you dismiss my argument because rocks can't 'think', just reflect on how many people we know that have rocks-for-brains.

Pesse (Just say'n) Mist


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Ravenous
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5634608 - 01/21/13 09:56 AM

Quote:

I granite to you that this is a silly argument, but is it a valid one?




That's a Gneiss way of putting it.

Isn't life made (partly) of rock anyway? It's the arrangement that's key. (Or part of the key.)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5634693 - 01/21/13 10:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I granite to you that this is a silly argument, but is it a valid one?




That's a Gneiss way of putting it.

Isn't life made (partly) of rock anyway? It's the arrangement that's key. (Or part of the key.)





I think 'we' are just a planetary infestation that will shortly be sanitized by an AI silicon wafer based lifeform. Just like we came from single celled lifeforms that we 'sanitize' out of existence with ammonia & bleach, they came from us and have their own version of 'Mr. Clean' (in the heavy-duty planetary spray formula).

Pesse (The Fungus among us is us.) Mist


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5634859 - 01/21/13 12:29 PM

<moderator>
Now let's don't start in on whether humans are worthy or deserving of existence here, or the moderator will start singing "Desiderata" in your ear non-stop for a week!
</moderator>


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5635275 - 01/21/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

<moderator>
Now let's don't start in on whether humans are worthy or deserving of existence here, or the moderator will start singing "Desiderata" in your ear non-stop for a week!
</moderator>




Not sure where you got the 'deserving' label as one lifeforms microbe is another's Homo Erectus.

In fact, I think the Drake equation lacks one crucial element: How long does a single species endure before its successor deems it not worth the bother of contacting?

I mean we have some primitive people inhabiting Rain Forests on Earth today that we not only refrain from contacting but go out of our way to prevent contact so their 'societies & culture' can endure.

Let's face it, known human civilization only spans about 5000 years which is laughable short in the Universal scheme of things.

Will we even recognize ourselves in another 500 years? Will some over lifeform supersede us or will we change ourselves into something unrecognizable?

What is the span (in years) in which one civilization thinks it is worth the bother to contact another and establish two-way communications?

Pesse (I need a drink) Mist


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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5635417 - 01/21/13 05:38 PM

yea..looking at the history of "humans", it seems that our main objective is war and combat and endless efforts to exterminate one another...

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5635658 - 01/21/13 08:20 PM

Quote:


Will we even recognize ourselves in another 500 years? Will some over lifeform supersede us or will we change ourselves into something unrecognizable?





If our lineage survives, the second option is inevitable. If the second does happen, then the first will have also occurred by default.

It might take more than 500 years, though.


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5636692 - 01/22/13 11:32 AM

Quote:

yea..looking at the history of "humans", it seems that our main objective is war and combat and endless efforts to exterminate one another...




You say it like it's a bad thing.

Seriously though, it'll be interesting to see what mankind does when life is extended. At some point genetic manipulation and organ replacement will have the potential to extend life hundreds of years.

Artificial life support systems may extend 'concious' life into the thousand year span.

Talk about your 'Population bomb'

Perhaps War is evolutions way of thinning out the herd.

Pesse (I bet we all become like the The Gamesters of Triskelion) Mist


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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5636906 - 01/22/13 01:22 PM

that's an interesting thought, being able to live a thousand years..yet would one want ruthless dictators to rule for hundreds of years...and could Mama Earth's resources support billions of humans with lifespans that long...just think of the lines at Wal-Mart.....

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5636917 - 01/22/13 01:31 PM

Quote:

'There be life here.' is an arbitrary point.




All definitions are arbitrary, to some degree. That doesn't mean they aren't useful. The universe is made of wide spectra in many areas, but is still useful to classify those spectra into segments (alive or not, red vs. orange, species vs. breed, planet vs. dwarf planet, etc.). Where we put the dividing is always a judgement call to some degree or another.

But changing our definition doesn't change the thing we are defining - it stays the same, we just call it a different name. If I decided to divide the visible spectrum into 10 colors instead of 7, any given photon is still the same as it was before. Just because I start calling one with a wavelength midway between red and orange "orand" doesn't actually change the light.

Quote:

Does my Pet Rock have the same right to existence as me?




What makes you think you have a right to exist?

Jarad


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5637075 - 01/22/13 02:46 PM

Malthus thought that disease, famine, and warfare would serve to limit population growth, but then it appears that wars actually stimulate increases in population. Yeah, a few combatants get killed, but everyone else is making babies. If someone gets testy someday and triggers a massive thermonuclear exchange, however, Malthus may yet prove to be right about the effects of warfare on our species.

And if catastrophic climate change and a superbug or two come along, he may be right about disease and famine, as well.


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5637343 - 01/22/13 05:01 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Quote:


What makes you think you have a right to exist?





It's self-evident!


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5637355 - 01/22/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Malthus thought that disease, famine, and warfare would serve to limit population growth, but then it appears that wars actually stimulate increases in population. Yeah, a few combatants get killed, but everyone else is making babies. If someone gets testy someday and triggers a massive thermonuclear exchange, however, Malthus may yet prove to be right about the effects of warfare on our species.

And if catastrophic climate change and a superbug or two come along, he may be right about disease and famine, as well.




It's situational. Some cultures have engaged in chronic warfare which was a de facto means of population control in environments where disease rates were low and birthrates high. Some of the New Guinea highland populations come to mind.

Among other species, Malthus' ideas about disease and famine, and possibly predation as a proxy to war, have been well-vindicated.

There are, of course, a variety of other means of population-limiting measures that different species engage in depending on their particular lifestyle. But they can all be incorporated into what is essentially a Malthusian theory.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5640775 - 01/24/13 02:02 PM

life on Earth requires a life form to kill another life form in order to survive...

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5640904 - 01/24/13 03:17 PM

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

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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5641107 - 01/24/13 05:28 PM

Quote:

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


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5641696 - 01/24/13 10:57 PM

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

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dickbill
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5642216 - 01/25/13 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.


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: dickbill]
      #5654265 - 01/31/13 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)


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5654570 - 01/31/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

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


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Ravenous
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5655679 - 02/01/13 07:24 AM

Quote:

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.


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5703389 - 02/27/13 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?


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5703547 - 02/27/13 01:45 PM

Quote:

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



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

Quote:

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


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StarWars
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5703955 - 02/27/13 06:04 PM Attachment (8 downloads)




But Skipper.......


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5704250 - 02/27/13 08:51 PM

Quote:

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.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5705099 - 02/28/13 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.


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StarWars
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Re: origin of life new [Re: dickbill]
      #5705245 - 02/28/13 12:22 PM

Quote:


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..

This process requires a Intelligent design of some type..


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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5705692 - 02/28/13 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.

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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5707334 - 03/01/13 03:00 PM

Quote:

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


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5707387 - 03/01/13 03:38 PM

Quote:

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


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5709936 - 03/03/13 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


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5709941 - 03/03/13 04:57 AM

oups!!sorry!!
increasing


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5713915 - 03/05/13 06:18 AM

Quote:

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.
Quote:

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.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5713931 - 03/05/13 06:57 AM

Quote:

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".

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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


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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5716336 - 03/06/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

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


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5734448 - 03/15/13 04:25 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.

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SteveMushynsky
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Re: origin of life new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5734481 - 03/15/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5734516 - 03/15/13 05:13 PM

Quote:

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


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SteveMushynsky
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5744241 - 03/19/13 11:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Quote:

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.lifeboat.com/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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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5744595 - 03/20/13 07:36 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Quote:

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.lifeboat.com/virus.htm




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.




What they did is synthesize the known DNA sequence of the polio virus, then put that DNA into an in vitro transcription and translation system to create whole viruses. What they produced was a polio virus that does exactly what a natural polio virus does. There was no design of new or modified functions. It doesn't even require that we understand the function of the sequences and proteins being copied.

I was talking about being able to design something to do what we want it to do. It's the difference between a photocopy machine and an artist - the copier can only copy what it has seen, the artist can create what he wants to see.

It's still an impressive feat, but it's not what I was talking about.

Jarad


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5808546 - 04/19/13 12:13 PM

QUALITIES OF TRUTH BY INTUITION

When somebody is gazing at the stars, there are times that he really feels he escapes gravity and he is detached from everyday life and its problems, realizing how unimportant they are compared with the magnitude and greatness of the universe!!And this is really the most amazing feeling one can have ,that even complicating thoughts (like what is the universe, where did we come from and where are we going), can be incredibly relaxing .
And because I know that everybody that loves astronomy, is by definition a curious man, I want to contribute some food for the brain for these magical moments of stargazing.
So…here are my thoughts about TRUTH:
My intuition dictates me that thuth has the following qualities:
1)Truth is simple.The more fundamental a fact is, the less words someone needs to explain it.Just the key fact, and suddenly everything makes sense.Partial facts or wrong facts generates an endless effort to explain things, filling endless amount of pages, endless discussions with the final result of a headache.
Everytime a truth is found, everybody wonders:Wow!It was so easy.I can’t believe no one thought of it before.
It’s a myth that finding out or realizing the truth is a product of genious.Contrary to solving a difficult mathematical problem or creating a complicate work of art, figuring out the truth is not difficult at all in terms of complexity.Most of the times, truth is far too simple and plain that our brain don’t even suspect to check at that direction.
2)There is a fundamental misconception in our way of thinking , because we are so small and so limited.
3)Truth can be reached.There is a wide acceptance that some questions can never be answered.I cannot agree with that.If thuth is out there and it exists, it makes it reachable.
Any thoughts??


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5808657 - 04/19/13 01:15 PM

I recall the Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is lecturing to an archaeology class. He makes the statement that archaeology is a science and is therefore interested in facts. He then adds that if someone wants to obtain truth, he/she should go down the hall way to so-and-so's philosophy class.

I believe truth is a transcendental property of Being. It is a quality which exists wherever/whenever existence is present and is in the thing which exists. As human awareness and cognition turns its attention to the thing which exists, it slowly comes to an appreciation of the truth which is there; that appreciation is the realm of fact. Fact, at times, asymptotically approaches truth; but the whole truth; never.

To summarize, truth is much more a quality than a quantity. Truth has objective existence; extra-mental existence, but, though objective, truth only exists in those things which exist.

Basically, all of the above is the perspective of that philosophical metaphysics called moderate realism.

One can retain the perspective, yet go beyond moderate realism, by then venturing into theology. Simply, truth exists primarily in the source of existence (God), and secondarily in those things created by that source and whose existence is dependent on the presence of that primary source.

Otto


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Joad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5808698 - 04/19/13 01:35 PM

When you already know the "truth" in advance through faith rather than rational philosophy, you will always end up in the same circular reasoning, as you do here, Otto. This is not philosophy. I suggest that you read some modern philosophers, not only Scholastics from the Middle Ages and theologians.

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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5808739 - 04/19/13 02:06 PM

It must be really hard to give up those magic beans...

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5808797 - 04/19/13 02:24 PM

time for some viewing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KfOBgrfkp4

this documentary discusses the different models for how life began. I am in the boat for either the hydrothermal vent theory or the tidal pool theory.

I see two possible problems for the primordial soup theory. The first is that when scientists make their own soup, there has been no spontaneous life generated. Science takes time and this may eventually happen. I would consider that absolute evidence for the primordial soup theory. Don't get me wrong, I still consider this the strongest theory we have. the second possible objection is admittedly weak, but we haven't found any primordial soup in nature. Life would have consumed any soup that it came in contact with so I wouldn't expect this argument to hold up well.


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5809000 - 04/19/13 04:18 PM

"The truth is a three edged sword."

(an old Vorlon saying)


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5809506 - 04/19/13 08:34 PM

The articulation of truth, unity, goodness, beauty (and possibly also “thing” and “otherness”) as the specific transcendental properties of Being (Existence) is a product of medieval/scholastic philosophy.

However, the concept of Being (existence) having transcendental attributes is taken from Aristotle. "There is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature." (Metaphysics, Book IV, 1, [1003a, 15]; Aristotle, c. 330 B.C.). Further, the idea that specific attributes of Being could be investigated is also found in Aristotle. In Book X, 1 and 2, of the Metaphysics, he explores the attribute of unity/one(ness).

Aristotle wrote/dictated these words around 1,500 years before medieval/scholastic philosophy and about four hundred years before the advent of that Christian theology which will influence scholastic/medieval philosophy.

Thus, the general concept of transcendental properties of Being cannot be rejected as a theological artifact because the concept of transcendental properties of Being exists long before the theology which impacted medieval/scholastic thought. Similarly, the exploration of specific attributes of Being as Being cannot be rejected as a theological artifact since the exploration of at least one of the aforementioned transcendental attributes (unity/one-ness) precedes the medieval period and the Christian theology.

Further, Avicenna, the Islamic philosopher will develop the concept of transcendental attributes of Being as Being based solely on his understanding of Aristotelian metaphysics and Platonic thought, without any influence from Christian theology. To drive the point home, though Avicenna had Aristotle’s writings in hand, he did not have access to the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Phillip the Chancellor, and other medieval/scholastic metaphysicians.

Again, the concept of Being having transcendental attributes and the exploration of specific attributes cannot be rejected as being artifacts of Christian theology.

What can be debated is whether or not “truth” is a transcendental attribute of Being (existence). To use simpler language, what can be debated is whether “truth” is the equivalent of the mental artifact “fact”, or if “truth” is a quality of existence which has its own extra-mental existence. Aristotle, prior to Christian influence, felt that such attributes could exist extra-mentally. The question is, is truth such a quality? such an attribute?


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5809657 - 04/19/13 09:38 PM

As I said, please read some modern philosophy. Even Heidegger would infinitely complicate your easy use of the word "Being," but after that you have to read some Derrida to see just how logocentric your viewpoint is. And the analytic philosophers would halt things even before you get to the word "Being" to analyze their own version of the uncertainty principle: which is, in effect, that the moment we use language to investigate anything we have already interfered with what we are investigating.

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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5809675 - 04/19/13 09:48 PM

Quote:


I see two possible problems for the primordial soup theory. The first is that when scientists make their own soup, there has been no spontaneous life generated.




I would be willing to bet that life develops all the time. Under certain conditions cell membrane like structures form and chemistry happens inside them. Since there is no point where one can point and say, "there be life here' it is difficult for us to observe it in nature.

Admittedly, this 'new life' is going to face difficulties as established and evolved life around it will tend to gobble-it-up.

My point is, every time we try and put limits on life we find that life exceeds them..not by a little but by orders of magnitude.

Biologists insists on trying to define life as limited by its environment. What they fail to realize..or even adequately understand, is that biochemistry doesn't 'care' about its environment..as long as there is some energy available and the environment s more or less enduring for some time biochemistry will adapt itself to whatever it needs to adapt itself to.

So in that light it isn't particularly surprising that life is found in acid lakes, boiling sulfur springs and the kardassian household.

Pesse (got noth'n for you here today) Mist


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buddyjesus
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5809730 - 04/19/13 10:19 PM

i agree that limits on life are really wide.

Since we are talking about the origin of life, when will the computers/robots eventually get this designation? I see the possibility of them outliving human civilization with a civilization of their own. What if they don't find their origin in the fossil record?

Here is another idea that is a bit mind blowing. Which came first, the information in the nucleic acids or proteins/metabolism? there is much unknown about this theory yet to be discovered.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5809805 - 04/19/13 11:15 PM

There's that old saying -- "you're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts."

I've noticed that there seem to be just as many truths espoused as there are opinions. And like opinions, truths rarely allow facts to get in the way.

Many will say that there are many truths. But, it seems, there is only one set of facts. I'll gladly give up the truth for some legitimate facts.

Edited by llanitedave (04/19/13 11:20 PM)


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5809825 - 04/19/13 11:26 PM

I find this matter of "truth" which Minos raised, very interesting as it relates to how science is done and how it should be done.

"Truth" can be simply a synonym for "fact". When used this way, the word truth means that an investigator has become aware of some objective reality, has understood the essence of that reality (if it is a thing) or the causes of that reality (if it is an event), and can now express that essence and those causes in words. When I taught high school and college philosophy classes this concept of truth within modernity, I referred to this notion of truth as facticity; the exact correspondence between some reality/thing/event and the words used to describe that reality/thing/event. In this modern understanding the description of the thing/reality/event in words is assumed to fully express and capture "the truth".

Like Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry, this notion of truth serves very well in letting people understand and make use of most phenomena.

But when one begins to move away from merely studying matter and motion, then, just as Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry becomes quite limited in describing more esoteric subatomic and cosmological phenomena; a facticity-correspondence notion of truth in this sense becomes very limited. Such a notion of "truth" (i.e. facticity-correspondence) is limited in its ability to explain living phenomena, and does not explain human phenomena well at all.

In order to be aware of and usefully explain living and human phenomena, it becomes necessary to understand truth as a quality, an attribute of being which has an extra-mental existence, dependent to be sure on existence itself. When looked at this way, it becomes clear that attaining truth of important matters is not so much a head-trip (a purely mental-facticity-correspondence thing) but more of an experiential and relational thing.


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5809837 - 04/19/13 11:31 PM

Quote:

time for some viewing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KfOBgrfkp4

this documentary discusses the different models for how life began. I am in the boat for either the hydrothermal vent theory or the tidal pool theory.

I see two possible problems for the primordial soup theory. The first is that when scientists make their own soup, there has been no spontaneous life generated. Science takes time and this may eventually happen. I would consider that absolute evidence for the primordial soup theory. Don't get me wrong, I still consider this the strongest theory we have. the second possible objection is admittedly weak, but we haven't found any primordial soup in nature. Life would have consumed any soup that it came in contact with so I wouldn't expect this argument to hold up well.




They aren't mutually exclusive. Chances are, there wasn't a single primordial soup, but a fairly wide diversity of them. Prior to the Earth's oxidizing atmosphere, there was the possibility of organic chemistry in fresh-water rain pools, tidal pools, deep-sea vents, ice-melt, and different variations of all the above. There were hot water vents and cold-water vents. There were ponds with acidic environments and others with alkaline environments. There were clay particles, calcite crystals, and ice crystals that all had/have the ability to catalyze certain organic reactions under the right conditions.

My guess is that the origin of life probably required the products of several of these types of proto-environments to be brought together, and to interact in one or more of the other environments.

That's why I don't expect simple experiments with organics and energy to create anything more than a limited repertoire of protocells. The experiments need a wider variety of included variables.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809842 - 04/19/13 11:36 PM

If I remember correctly, Dave, you are a geologist, which means your very good at chemistry and probably pretty decent at biology.

Let's assume that creating life is just a matter of the correct chemical environment (or environments as your last post stated) and the correct energy inputs. Let's assume that's correct.

Why are we having such a darn hard time figuring out the right combination. What are the geological, chemical, biological (i.e. science) reasons you can think of which makes figuring this out so tough?

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (04/19/13 11:39 PM)


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5809843 - 04/19/13 11:37 PM

Quote:


In order to be aware of and usefully explain living and human phenomena, it becomes necessary to understand truth as a quality, an attribute of being which has an extra-mental existence, dependent to be sure on existence itself. When looked at this way, it becomes clear that attaining truth of important matters is not so much a head-trip (a purely mental-facticity-correspondence thing) but more of an experiential and relational thing.




Not true. In order to explain living and human phenomena, it becomes necessary to discard notions of metaphysical "truth" and to understand the concept of emergence and complexity as phenomena in their own right.

In other words, it's frightfully difficult, but not brought any closer to attainment by adherence to "qualities" that are ultimately contained within the phenomena they seek to describe.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809849 - 04/19/13 11:45 PM

If human phenomena such as love (caring for the other for the other's own sake) is reducible to neurochemistry, then yes, I can see how human phenomena can be explained by a correspondence-facticity understanding of truth. If reality is deterministic such explanations should be possible.

But, I don't think love, nor many other human things are only neuro-chemistry, determined, purely causal in nature. I doubt many people really do. I think, the mere fact we engage in dialogue with one another here is proof that we do not think human action is determined, purely causal, a matter of neurochemistry. And if human things are not these, then there must be something else at work at which only a transcendental notion of truth as an extra-mental reality can get a handle.

Otto

P.S. The "Not True " was cute.

P.P.S. I doubt the causes which led you to write "Not True " could be explained through a purely facticity-correspondence deterministic notion of truth.

Edited by Otto Piechowski (04/19/13 11:51 PM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5809857 - 04/19/13 11:52 PM

Quote:

If I remember correctly, Dave, you are a geologist, which means your very good at chemistry and probably pretty decent at biology.




It doesn't mean that at all. It means I was good enough to get a passing grade.
If you want "very good", talk to Jarad, or one of several others here.

Quote:


Let's assume that life is just a matter of the correct chemical environment (or environments as your last post stated) and the correct energy inputs. Let's assume that's correct.

Why are we having such a darn hard time figuring out the right combination. What are the geological, chemical, biological (i.e. science) reasons you can think of which makes figuring this out so tough?

Otto



Actually, I think we've made a heck of a lot of progress. As I mentioned earlier, there was probably not a single "primordial soup" involved, but many at once. We're trying to recreate conditions that existed over 4 billion years ago, and most evidence of those conditions has been destroyed. Our experiments so far, even the most famous ones, have been very small-scale.

We're in no hurry. Science (as does the popular press) tends to over-simplify the number of variables present in any experiment so as to be able to pinpoint cause and effect with the highest possible reliability. Once we have a clearly understood set of basic behaviours in our system, we can use those behaviors as inputs at a higher level of abstraction, and create more difficult and more sophisticated experiments. The greater the complexity of the problem, the greater the number and variety of hypotheses and experiments required, the more levels of result hierarchy involved, the greater the level of financial resources required to conduct them, and the greater the timescale of the research.

OOL research is interesting, but it doesn't have, as far as I know, the potential for immediate economic benefit as does, say, nuclear fusion or enhanced petroleum recovery. Consequently, its budget is pretty shoestring compared to a lot of other programs.

Be patient. It's actually come a long way since Stanley Fox. It's still got a long way to go.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809863 - 04/19/13 11:58 PM

"Love" is entirely, and I mean entirely, a very simple matter of neurochemistry. It is one of the easiest phenomena of all to describe.

Simply remember that all we are are DNA schemes to spread DNA. Love, in every manifestation, is simply part of that scheme.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809865 - 04/20/13 12:00 AM

Someday, philosophers will catch up on the last 30 years of ethology, behavioral ecology, primatology, neurology, cybernetics, etc. Then we will have some interesting conversations.

"Science is the poetry of reality." Richard Dawkins


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5809867 - 04/20/13 12:00 AM

Quote:

If human phenomena such as love (caring for the other for the other's own sake) is reducible to neurochemistry, then yes, I can see how human phenomena can be explained by a correspondence-facticity understanding of truth. If reality is deterministic such explanations should be possible.

But, I don't think love, nor many other human things are only neuro-chemistry, determined, purely causal in nature. I doubt many people really do. I think, the mere fact we engage in dialogue with one another here is proof that we do not think human action is determined, purely causal, a matter of neurochemistry. And if human things are not these, then there must be something else at work at which only a transcendental notion of truth as an extra-mental reality can get a handle.

Otto

P.S. The "Not True " was cute.

P.P.S. I doubt the causes which led you to write "Not True " could be explained through a purely facticity-correspondence deterministic notion of truth.




You're still dealing with a classical notion of determinism. A system can be fully deterministic, yet chaotic and unpredictable. Determinism doesn't mean one cause and one effect. It means an interacting network of causes and effects working on many layers of both positive and negative feedback.

Interestingly, these networks can be extremely sensitive to the slightest perturbations, yet stable enough to withstand major disruptions.

Are you familiar with the concept of the Attractor in dynamical systems? It's worth some study.

It turned everything I thought I knew about causality on its head. And it's completely deterministic.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5809870 - 04/20/13 12:03 AM

Quote:

Someday, philosophers will catch up on the last 30 years of ethology, behavioral ecology, primatology, neurology, cybernetics, etc. Then we will have some interesting conversations.

"Science is the poetry of reality." Richard Dawkins




The corollary to that is that we scientists also need to do some catching up in philosophy, so we can get some perspective and meaning to what it is we're actually doing.

I think our own Joad is as close to that balance as it's possible for many of us to be.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809873 - 04/20/13 12:06 AM

Thank you Dave. I think there the reasons you give contain a great deal of, shall we say, "truth". I especially like what you said about the difficulties presented by our being separated some four billion years from those originating chemical/energy conditions; trying to figure out what they were and replicate them. Also, I found illumiinating your comment about how science tries to simplify what, in the case of life, might be a situation which is not prone to being adequately dealt with in simple ways.


Dave asserts that there are others here, Jarad for example, but others too with expertise in geology, chemistry, biology. I would enjoy hearing your responses to the same question:

What are the scientific reasons we have not yet been able to figure out the right combination of chemical environment(s) and energy input(s) to create life?

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809889 - 04/20/13 12:28 AM

I remember well, Dave, how you explained to me when I was once playing devil's advocate arguing an anti-evolution position and using entropy as an argument against evolution; stating something like if entropy (all things tend to disorder) is correct, how can biological systems marched to greater complexity...I remember so well how you pointed out to me/us that in fact, at the molecular level, it was absolutely necessary to have entropy working so as to create the mutations needed for evolution to occur.

Well, it seems you are making something of the same statement here regarding determinism; that determinism as it really works, is necessary for human things, life things to come about as they come about.

By determinism, I understand to mean a system with outcomes which can not be interrupted by free will.

I doubt anyone who really believed human things were deterministic in this sense, would even bother to engage one another in dialogue here.

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5809896 - 04/20/13 12:37 AM

Were I Joad, I'd advise you to reconsider your concept of "Free Will".

But I'm not, so I'll simply ask what you mean by the term.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5809920 - 04/20/13 01:02 AM

I imagine that the concept of free will as used above is the same one that haunted Boethius in his Consolation of Philosophy. That book was composed in the 6th century. As such it has historical interest as a major exemplar of the kinds of problems that concerned philosophers of that time and place. But contemporary philosophy, when informed by modern science, is not really concerned with such concepts.

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5809928 - 04/20/13 01:12 AM

Quote:

I imagine that the concept of free will as used above is the same one that haunted Boethius in his Consolation of Philosophy. That book was composed in the 6th century. As such it has historical interest as a major exemplar of the kinds of problems that concerned philosophers of that time and place. But contemporary philosophy, when informed by modern science, is not really concerned with such concepts.




Quite right.
Ah, Boethius. The touch stone of the protagonist in the marvelous novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5810634 - 04/20/13 11:19 AM

Thank you for your request that I be more specific about my understanding and use of the phrase "free will".

Right this moment I am typing. I am typing because I choose to type. I am free to choose not to type.

A determinist, with whom I once spoke, would say that my typing, or my not-typing, is not my choice but me acting out some controlling/determining mechanism operating in me at the neuro-chemical level.

Let us say, a person was mistaken in believing his/her actions, such as engaging in speech with others, were determined and controlled by neuro-chemical and physical processes. Acting on this contrary-to-fact belief, that person would choose not to engage in dialogue because there would be (so he/she thinks) no possibility of enlightenment or persuasion caused by the dialogue. If, on the other hand, the determinism which this person believed to be real, was real; i.e. if he didn't have the choice to engage in dialogue, then it would be the fact that his dialogue is a compulsion.

The reality is, we engage in dialogue here for the purpose of enlightening and persuading others. Our engagement in dialogue for these purposes evidences our belief in the existence of free will and our belief that determinism does not (in the mentally balanced individual) operate at this specific human level.

Otto


Two asides:

I understand there to be a difference between free will and free choice. I have never been really clear on what that difference is, but I sense there is a difference.

Also, I am sure determinism, as it exists in physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, may well be quite different than the type of determinism of which I spoke above. I am, however, most interested in the type of determinism which some claim controls human behavior. This issue is of interest to me as I am interested in why people like us engage in dialogue here in the manners and ways in which we address one another.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5810802 - 04/20/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

... Our engagement in dialogue for these purposes evidences our belief in the existence of free will...




Perhaps, but only if one believes in "free will", as something other than a symbolic object, or as sometimes put, a "thought thing".

Speaking only for myself, i view free will versus determinism and nature vs nurture, as pre-scientific constructs. Terms for processes, without reference to the details and multi-linear interaction the processes comprise.

For operant purposes, i think of behavior as a relationship between a phenotype and its environment. Both the phenotype and the environment are in a state of change. Further, that the "phenotype" in the human case, includes the growing integration & summation of reaction/experience as he/she moves on his/her world line.

Or, as some fellow wrote:

The geese have no intention to cast their reflection, the water, no mind, to receive it.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5810822 - 04/20/13 12:41 PM

Jay,

Thank you!

Your responses were very interesting.

I would like you to say more about, explain in perhaps a little easier manner for me to understand, your paragraph, "For operant purposes, i think of behavior as a relationship between a phenotype and its environment. Both the phenotype and the environment are in a state of change. Further, that the "phenotype" in the human case, includes the growing integration & summation of reaction/experience as he/she moves on his/her world line."

Last of all, in the paragraph you wrote, preceding the one I just quoted above, your referred to free-will and determinism as a "pre-scientific construct". As far as I know, you are correct in your statement; this debate did pre-date modern science. But would you, with me, be willing to go one step further and say, in addition to free-will/determinism being a "pre-scientific construct" that free-will/determinism "continues to be a non-scientific construct"?

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5810983 - 04/20/13 02:03 PM

Quote:

I would like you to say more about, explain in perhaps a little easier manner for me to understand, your paragraph, "For operant purposes,...




That would be alot of typing....

Quote:

But would you, with me, be willing to go one step further and say, ... that free-will/determinism "continues to be a non-scientific construct"?




Yes, in so far as i might say that about such things as for example; vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5811029 - 04/20/13 02:25 PM

Your qualified agreement...the words with which you qualified it, i.e. "vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic" can be taken two ways. Either, the free-will/determinism debate is not part of philosophy or theology, or they are part of philosophy/theology but that philosophy and theology are of the same value as vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic.

Assuming these two options exhaust the substantial possibility of ways to interpret "vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic" in relation to free-will/determinism, with which of the two options would you agree?

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5811277 - 04/20/13 03:56 PM

Quote:

Your qualified agreement...the words with which you qualified it, i.e. "vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic" can be taken two ways. Either, the free-will/determinism debate is not part of philosophy or theology, or they are part of philosophy/theology but that philosophy and theology are of the same value as vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic.

Assuming these two options exhaust the substantial possibility of ways to interpret "vitalism, astrology, or sympathetic magic" in relation to free-will/determinism, with which of the two options would you agree? Otto




I do not conside the duality/debate, free-will/determinism to have operant value as to the exploration and understanding the apparent biogeophysical "world"/"reality" etc. As concepts in and of themselves they do not lead to edification about anything other than some aspects of the history of human thought.

Free will/determinism though, as imaginary or symbolic, mental objects, are as concepts or beliefs, worthy of study. This is because many if not most humans believe instance, free will. The belief has a multitude of impacts in society, from language structure to governing models. That belief, and acting on it does have actual effects.

For example, All existing criminal justice systems assume "free will" exists. That assumption underlies concepts such as moral responsibility, culpability, competency, and punishment. Another example.
Given the human tendency for teleological thinking, a belief in "determinism" can often result in situationally convenient attribution to something being predestined.

Edited by moynihan (04/20/13 04:03 PM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5811326 - 04/20/13 04:15 PM

the employment of the seer, prophet, fortune teller...

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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5811534 - 04/20/13 06:49 PM

Your thoughts seem to be good and very well stated. Thank you, Jay. Otto

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5812011 - 04/20/13 10:51 PM

Quote:


A determinist, with whom I once spoke, would say that my typing, or my not-typing, is not my choice but me acting out some controlling/determining mechanism operating in me at the neuro-chemical level.





That determinist might, but I suspect his concept of "free will" and "choice" are just as garbled as yours are.


There's no shame in that. I don't think anybody really has a handle on what the terms mean in anything more than a personal sense, which is why these conversations invariably end up talking past one another.

I prefer a definition that is a bit simpler, and doesn't require a philosophy of metaphysical absolutes. Even if your decisions are somehow predetermined, they are predetermined within the context of your unique mileau of genetics, experiences, capabilities, education, desires, and circumstances. You don't share those 100% with anyone else. Therefore, the choices you make will be unique to you.

In this context, all "free will" is, is the recognition that your decisions are autonomous, and are not predictably triggered by the latest external events, and they are not guaranteed to be the same as someone elses. Add to that the concept that, as a sentient being(which itself has no metaphysical significance -- in this argument robots can conceivably be sentient as well) you have the ability to predict consequences of your choices, and to mentally model their affects on yourself and others, and factor those results into whatever your particular input array may be.

There is nothing in determinist science which precludes or overrides the concepts of personal autonomy, freedom, or responsibility.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5812042 - 04/20/13 11:09 PM

Indeed. As moynihan has put it so well, "free will/determinism . . . as imaginary or symbolic, mental objects, are . . . concepts or beliefs . . . ."

Sorry for the ellipses but I haven't changed his basic point.

As a symbolic mental object, free will has been of concern in two particular contexts. The first is theological. Early on, Christian theologians ran into a problem when they contemplated an omniscient creator. Namely: if the creator is both eternal and omniscient, then he (they did conceive it in masculine terms) already knows what is going to happen to all of us even before we are born. Since that creator is both all knowing and unerring, that would imply that we have no free will. This gave the theologians fits, because free will was essential in their view in determining who was going to be saved and who wasn't. Boethius, as I mentioned before, provided some classic arguments to resolve this dilemma. There is no need to revisit those arguments, but they are foundational to Scholasticism.

Calvin, for his part, took the logical implications of divine omniscience at face value and denied all free will in a doctrine of predestination.

The second context for concern appeared during the Enlightenment. Modern science, as led by Newton, proposed universal laws that appeared to many philosophers as governing a "clockwork universe" (as has been mentioned in another thread). This bugged a lot of people (like the 19th century novelist Dostoevsky, whose "underground man" refused to be a "piano key.") The key word/concept this time around was "determinism" rather than "free will," and it also gave people fits.

Twentieth century philosophers just haven't been very worked up about the matter in either of its conceptual forms. As Ilanitedave has said, we are complex organisms existing in nearly infinitely complex dynamic relations with our environment. Personally, I do not believe that it would ever be possible to run down all of the causes for our actions, but they are most certainly not entirely free; perhaps not very free at all. But as moynihan has also pointed out, our institutions assume a certain level of responsibility for our actions, and from a Pragmatic standpoint (which says that the truth is that which is good in the way of belief; or as Pragmatic instrumentalism would put it, the good is that which is socially useful) it's better to assume responsibility than not to. Though I am not always a Pragmatist, I would certainly lean that way in this case.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5812053 - 04/20/13 11:15 PM

And of course all this has little to do with the origin of life, but the only usefulness of the free will concept has ever been within the realm of social behavior. And in that context, I'd say we are "free enough".

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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5813607 - 04/21/13 05:44 PM

does a dog have "free will"..should I the dog bark at the stranger, bite the stranger, wag my tail at the stranger...decisions, decisions, decisions.....

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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5813819 - 04/21/13 06:48 PM

Dave, you wrote, "That determinist might, but I suspect his concept of "free will" and "choice" are just as garbled as yours are."

I have a memory of reading some things, maybe thirty years ago, which said something about how the concept of "free will" and "free choice" are not the same thing. I wish I could remember what the distinction was.

Do any of you have a though about what the difference between the two would be?

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (04/21/13 06:52 PM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5813823 - 04/21/13 06:51 PM

I found your post very well written; easy to understand, Joad. Also, from what I know, I found everything in it to be an accurate summary of the history of the discussion.

Though I have read a good bit of Dostoyevsky, I am not familiar with the item about the "underground man" refusing to be a "piano key". I would enjoy it if you would tell me/us a bit more about that.

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5814129 - 04/21/13 09:38 PM

Quote:

Dave, you wrote, "That determinist might, but I suspect his concept of "free will" and "choice" are just as garbled as yours are."

I have a memory of reading some things, maybe thirty years ago, which said something about how the concept of "free will" and "free choice" are not the same thing. I wish I could remember what the distinction was.

Do any of you have a though about what the difference between the two would be?

Otto




I don't recognize a distinction between them, but then, my concept is pretty garbled too!


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5814138 - 04/21/13 09:41 PM

Thanks anyway Dave.

My memory of this distinction between free will and free choice is kind of like me memory of hearing the distinction of civil liberties and civil rights; I have a real clear memory of the impression that the distinction was very clear and convincing when I heard it, but darned if I can remember what I heard.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5814150 - 04/21/13 09:44 PM

Maybe it's the kind of distinction I thought about today...

Me: "I can't believe I get paid for this!"

The boss: "I can't believe you get paid for this!"


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5814166 - 04/21/13 09:48 PM

that was funny!

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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5814896 - 04/22/13 09:39 AM

Trying to say that things are pre-determined OR we have free will seems rather silly to me.
Free will, will always be pre-determined (i.e. limited) by the number of options available.
If I throw you off a cliff, you can't free will yourself into having wings. Your short term future is almost certainly set in stone, not a lot of variable will affect the final outcome.
If I offer you ice cream, you can't say it was destiny that you ate vanilla, that's the only option you had. If I had vanilla and chocolate, you can't say it was pre-determined you would eat one or the other...or can you?
Given enough data, we might be able to determine that you are allergic to vanilla and are therefore destined to eat the other, but not really because there are a billion OTHER options besides actually eating the ice cream. You can throw it, drop it, say "no thanks", etc... you got options, unlike the journey to the bottom of the cliff.


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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5815715 - 04/22/13 05:06 PM

does "something" pre-determine if one survives or dies from the fall off the cliff?

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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5815742 - 04/22/13 05:19 PM

I love it when I argue with people about their fates being 'predetermined'.

Someone once said that if you knew the precise location and energy level of each particle in the Universe, you could theoretically, plot the entire future of each particle from Big Bang to Big Death....

Pesse (Then Heisenberg became uncertain and made it all mute.) Mist

Edited by Pess (04/22/13 05:20 PM)


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Mister T
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5815767 - 04/22/13 05:29 PM

that would be gravity.

or more generally Physics.


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Mister T
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5815772 - 04/22/13 05:29 PM

Only if you knew the formulas too!!

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Mister T]
      #5816082 - 04/22/13 06:41 PM

who are we to discuss the origins of life, free will, fates, etc when we can't even communicate with other species on our planet? This is just a for all we know discussion and what we have been told discussion.

Roaches will survive us all and become the dominant species on the planet..Free will is nothing when there is a dominant species on a planet like the human infestation.


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5830074 - 04/29/13 12:33 PM

Obviously there are millions of opinions, but there is only one truth.Truth is by definition true!!In addition, facts are by definition, also true, so normally they agree with truth and if we interpret them correctly, then we will get to the truth.But truth is higher than facts, because facts, eventhough they are true, they must be interpreted correctly if we want to get any meaning by them.
Our aim is truth! To do this we must analyze a huge set of facts and see if they agree with our existing theories that are candidates for being the truth.But, to my opinion, here lies the hoax.
A fact must be a fact!The fact that we only know the works of Copernicus, Kepler, Brahe, Galileo etc, doesn't mean that they were the only scientific works of that times!Between them, there were tons of scientific work, observations, facts that didn't survive to us because they didn't work!The same thing happens today in my opinion to my discipline,medicine.Reading medical textbooks of 1970's(40 years old) you can realize that actually we had exactly the same actual weapons we have today in really improving disease outcomes(salines, antibiotics, transfusions, oxygen etc).The cases in which somebody that at the 70's would have died, but today ,thanks to improvements in medicine , will survive, are very limited, if any(even though i read in the mass media press for a different novel cure for cancer three times every week).And this happens contrary to the humongous amount of biomedical scientific papers created everyday.This points out that something is wrong with the interpretation of all these facts.Perhaps they are "approximately" facts because we use statistics to justify our claims.Truth works everytime, not most of the times.
So facts are important, but also theories are also essential or else the facts will lead us toward dead ends and be our blind driver to nowhere.
As for if we can ever get to the truth, my opinin is that if truth is out there exposed, then someday we will reach it.Of course in some areas we can learn the truth more easily than others, and our difficulties arise mainly because we are a part inside the system, and our perspective is not always totally the real objective one!And this refers to subjects such as existence, life, human brain, purpose, free will etc)But with the right assumptions, truth can even be reached there as well.
Finally, regarding the theories about primordial soups, my opinion is that organic macromolecules are not legos or scrubble toys to put basic compounds next to one another to build complicating molecules in many areas of earth at the same time, and make them react with each other correctly so as life to be created.It makes more sense to assume that the creation of macromolecules is the logical result of the chemical reactions of life in the long term.


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5830112 - 04/29/13 12:50 PM

And to those believers arguing against scientific explanations for natural phenomena such as how life works, i can only say that history showed that it is better to argue against god than trying to defend him superstituously in the wrong basis!Remember how much was christianity hurt in the case of Galileo!Even today, the bleeding hasn't stopped yet...

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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5830121 - 04/29/13 12:53 PM

"Nothing unreal exists"

Kiri-kin-tha's First Law of Metaphysics



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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5833962 - 05/01/13 09:51 AM

what "exist" is only determined by one senses...

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5834077 - 05/01/13 10:53 AM

Viruses don't exist?

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Pess
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5834143 - 05/01/13 11:30 AM

The Universe is what it is.

The Universe is many different things to many different people because each Universe is merely a holographic representation based on sensory information--which can vary from organism to organism.

Pesse (Schizophrenics build sand castles in the sky while psychotics live in them) Mist


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5834310 - 05/01/13 12:44 PM

Quote:

And to those believers arguing against scientific explanations for natural phenomena such as how life works, i can only say that history showed that it is better to argue against god than trying to defend him superstituously




First, who's history are you referring to? Second, define "better" better in the sense of not being persecuted? My beliefs make it clear that I am going to be persecuted for them and so it only serves to confirm my faith when I am. There are plenty of examples in religious text that claim opposite of you. I guess if you want to pick out selective example or two of this have at it but the onus would be on you to prove those the norm.


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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5834372 - 05/01/13 01:13 PM

Quote:

My beliefs make it clear that I am going to be persecuted for them and so it only serves to confirm my faith when I am.



That is what is called a postive feedback loop, and it's bad.


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5834540 - 05/01/13 02:29 PM

Quickdraw,

I am one of those who is comfortable with the inclusion of philosophical and theological speculations within a scientific context such as this. CN, and this forum in particular, sometimes censors philosophical and theological discussion. And that may happen here. Until that does happen, I would like to hear/read your ideas.

What are your thoughts, beliefs, feelings about this topic of The Origin of Life?

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (05/01/13 02:32 PM)


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Pess]
      #5834576 - 05/01/13 02:49 PM

Quote:

Schizophrenics build sand castles in the sky while psychotics live in them) Mist




"The neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.” Thomas S. Szasz


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5834588 - 05/01/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

I am one of those who is comfortable with the inclusion of philosophical and theological speculations within a scientific context such as this. CN, and this forum in particular, sometimes censors philosophical and theological discussion. And that may happen here. Until that does happen, I would like to hear/read your ideas.

What are your thoughts, beliefs, feelings about this topic of The Origin of Life?

Otto






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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5834887 - 05/01/13 05:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My beliefs make it clear that I am going to be persecuted for them and so it only serves to confirm my faith when I am.



That is what is called a postive feedback loop, and it's bad.




But thank you for confirming my point in making your observation


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5834935 - 05/01/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

Quickdraw,

I am one of those who is comfortable with the inclusion of philosophical and theological speculations within a scientific context such as this. CN, and this forum in particular, sometimes censors philosophical and theological discussion. And that may happen here. Until that does happen, I would like to hear/read your ideas.

What are your thoughts, beliefs, feelings about this topic of The Origin of Life?

Otto




Otto,

I know what you are talking about as far as the censoring of philosophical discussion is concerned here. I personally have had several posts deleted . What I find interesting is how obviously biased the censorship can be toward allowing condemnation of religious principles. For fear of the aforementioned I will attempt to answer your question.

I believe the origin of life on Earth is divine and can be attributed to an intelligent creator. Furthermore, I believe the Earth's attributes, orbital characteristics, solar characteristics, galactic position are far more rare and unique than we currently understand or believe. Possibly to the point it may be a one of a kind.
I see God as a logical necessity required to give pre-universe absolute nothingness contrast and definition. When asked who he was God said himself “I Am that I Am” which to me means he is because he has to logically be.


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ColoHank
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5834949 - 05/01/13 06:18 PM

Quote:

There are plenty of examples in religious text that claim opposite of you.




It's obvious that someone knew all of the answers two thousand years ago, so let's ignore all of the scientific knowledge accumulated since then. Why can't we all just agree that lightning and thunder are generated when Thor swings his hammer and strikes his anvil?


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5834989 - 05/01/13 06:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

There are plenty of examples in religious text that claim opposite of you.




It's obvious that someone knew all of the answers two thousand years ago, so let's ignore all of the scientific knowledge accumulated since then. Why can't we all just agree that lightning and thunder are generated when Thor swings his hammer and strikes his anvil?




Because we know exactly how lightning and thunder are created?

Can you on the other hand tell me what created/allows or determined all of the phyical constants we call natural laws? and if you can, which you cant please, tell me what created/allows or determined all of the laws that allow the natural laws to be as they are ad infinitum.

Heisenberg is quoted as saying…
“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
To say Heisenberg made an astute observation would be an understatement !
You see, Heisenberg understood that man and science can only explain so much and that the limit (bottom of the glass) to this explanation are the natural laws and constants. Why is the speed of light 299,792,458 meters per second. Why does the velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. Are these just laws that form by chance or due to some equilibrium state of the combined energy states of matter?


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835037 - 05/01/13 07:09 PM

Quickdraw,

Thank you for responding to my request to share your thoughts about the Origin of LIfe.

You wrote, “I believe the origin of life on Earth is divine and can be attributed to an intelligent creator.

By faith, I believe all life comes through Jesus Christ. Thus, life is a spiritual thing. However, along the lines of the writings of the French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin, I believe a certain degree of material complexity (chemistry, biology, geology, etc.) is necessary for life to appear; for life to be given. The material complexity of itself cannot create life, but it is a condition within the material conditions of the universe for life to occur. Concerning human life, the same applies a fortiori; that is, once the anthropod reaches a certain degree of complexity, then human awareness, will, intellect can appear, be given.

Virtually none of what I believe can be proven or disproven scientifically, as my assertions about life are that it is a spiritual entity and defined as such, is necessarily outside the authority of science which deals with, and only with, matter and motion.

I do feel, nonetheless, that this spiritual understanding of life can embolden, empower, and inspire the scientist in her/his purely scientific work. And, possibly, provide some guidance for distinguishing scientifically productive and unproductive paths of investigation.



You also wrote, “Furthermore, I believe the Earth's attributes, orbital characteristics, solar characteristics, galactic position are far more rare and unique than we currently understand or believe. Possibly to the point it may be a one of a kind.

I have no idea why you believe what you wrote in the first sentence but I would guess it comes from some source of divine revelation to which you ascribe or to some gut feeling. Please feel free to say more about this.

As to the second sentence, Jarad, who is one of the administrators of this site, in a response to a request of mine about the statistical significance of n=1 as it relates to determining the conditions for life, and sentient life to come into existence, powerfully and clearly explained to me/us that based on the sample we have (i.e. earth) we simply cannot say how likely or unlikely the existence of life and sentient life elsewhere is.


Finally, you wrote, “I see God as a logical necessity required to give pre-universe absolute nothingness contrast and definition. When asked who he was God said himself “I Am that I Am” which to me means he is because he has to logically be.

I do not understand what you meant by the first sentence. Could you explain your statement?

As to the second statement, I think I do understand what you believe and think. There does seem to be a correlation between the theological dogma of God defined by the Hebrew word meaning I AM (or I AM WHO AM) and the scholastic metaphysical concept of pure Being and its logical attributes.



To your opening aside/comment: some people are uncomfortable with philosophical and theological discussions; especially when those discussions become oppressive or abusive preachings. Fortunately, I have experienced environments of education based on dialogical courtesy. In these environments, time and again I have seen, on the most sensitive of issues, philosophical and theological and political discussions occur without rancor, with good will, and with productivity.

From my viewpoint, and I would hope from yours as well, I would hope that it is the case that, no matter how different our philosophical or theological beliefs are, that in the end, these will cause far less conflict between you and I, then the fact that you are from Ann Arbor, Michigan and thus, probably a University of Michigan fan, and that I lived in Lansing, Michigan; am a Michigan State University Spartan fan (go Izzo) and now live in Kentucky; the home of Pitino and Calipari who regularly (but not always) beat up on the maize and blue.

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (05/01/13 07:13 PM)


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835123 - 05/01/13 08:01 PM

Quote:

Because we know exactly how lightning and thunder are created?




Well, that's a fairly simply example, but we have a pretty good idea. Static electricity generated by friction is pretty straighforward, as is electrical arcing. There may be some details left out, but we have the basics pretty well covered.

Quote:

Can you on the other hand tell me what created/allows or determined all of the phyical constants we call natural laws? and if you can, which you cant please, tell me what created/allows or determined all of the laws that allow the natural laws to be as they are ad infinitum.




No. But I don't find "because God said so" to be a very satisfying answer either. I prefer to use the fact that we don't know all the answers as motivation to keep looking, rather than to give up and say "God did it".

And for the record, I am not an atheist. Even on the issues where I believe that "God did it", I still think it's a worthwhile endeavor for us to try to figure out exactly how he did it.

Jarad


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5835149 - 05/01/13 08:19 PM

Quote:



No. But I don't find "because God said so" to be a very satisfying answer either. I prefer to use the fact that we don't know all the answers as motivation to keep looking, rather than to give up and say "God did it".

And for the record, I am not an atheist. Even on the issues where I believe that "God did it", I still think it's a worthwhile endeavor for us to try to figure out exactly how he did it.

Jarad




Jarad,
Exactly !
Too many people that do not have a spiritual belief system think that just because one may believe in some form of a supreme creator or intelligence that we automatically give up the right to wonder how he fashioned it all.
Just because I am of the belief that God exists and has set in place everything according to his plan, foreknowledge and wisdom does not mean I am not just as curious as the next guy as to how he made it tick. I am after all here on CN as an example and very interested in most of the sciences
Don’t make the mistake in thinking that at least me personally has “given up” in searching for understanding just because I believe God. I am however acutely aware that we will never ever have the final answer and that also may be by design.


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Joad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835156 - 05/01/13 08:23 PM

So you want philosophy of religion?

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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835193 - 05/01/13 08:47 PM


Otto,

I am not nearly as prolific a writer as you and it is getting late so I will try to give you the quick and easy answers to your questions.
Otto wrote…
“As to the second sentence, Jarad, who is one of the administrators of this site, in a response to a request of mine about the statistical significance of n=1 as it relates to determining the conditions for life, and sentient life to come into existence, powerfully and clearly explained to me/us that based on the sample we have (i.e. earth) we simply cannot say how likely or unlikely the existence of life and sentient life elsewhere is.”

I believe first that God has no reason to create life (at least intelligent life) elsewhere. If you believe in the Christian God you have to ask what motivation would there be to create “another mankind” elsewhere. Are they or us a plan B or C….
Did God err in his ways or was his plan perfect due to his wisdom and foreknowledge?

Otto wrote
“I do not understand what you meant by the first sentence. Could you explain your statement?

As to the second statement, I think I do understand what you believe and think. There does seem to be a correlation between the theological dogma of God defined by the Hebrew word meaning I AM (or I AM WHO AM) and the scholastic metaphysical concept of pure Being and its logical attributes.”

The first and second statements are related and supportive of each other. I believe God is a logical necessity in the pre-universe dominion. I believe he being absolute truth, life and love lived in contrast and was essential to define absolute falsehood, death, evil and nothingness. One could not exist without the other. In other words, you cannot have a “something” without a “nothing”

Go Blue !


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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835234 - 05/01/13 09:08 PM

Well since we have gone there...
Why is it "rational" to think that whatever magical being you belive in is THE origin of life?
Give me one shred of evidence, one logical argument, that it's the one YOU belive in and NOT one of the countless other deities that are credited with creating life, the Universe and everything. For that matter, what if aliens engineered the DNA strain that ended up here billions of years ago and spawned the diversity we see today, would we be able to tell the difference? Would it matter to a religious person or would that just be more "reinforcement of belief"? Ah...there it is, intelligent design!


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5835242 - 05/01/13 09:10 PM

Quote:

Well since we have gone there...
Why is it "rational" to think that whatever magical being you belive in is THE origin of life?
Give me one shred of evidence, one logical argument, that it's the one YOU belive in and NOT one of the countless other deities that are credited with creating life, the Universe and everything. For that matter, what if aliens engineered the DNA strain that ended up here billions of years ago and spawned the diversity we see today, would we be able to tell the difference? Would it matter to a religious person or would that just be more "reinforcement of belief"? Ah...there it is, intelligent design!




Please see the above post


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5835254 - 05/01/13 09:17 PM

Quote:

For that matter, what if aliens engineered the DNA strain that ended up here billions of years ago and spawned the diversity we see today, would we be able to tell the difference? Would it matter to a religious person or would that just be more "reinforcement of belief"? Ah...there it is, intelligent design!




I told jarad I was finished with spiritual discussions so I will not address your first questions. I will however address your statement above as it is very easily challenged when we ask "Who designed the alien's DNA?"

I know, other aliens


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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835272 - 05/01/13 09:31 PM

Sorry I didn't mean you specifically, just wondering how, if one reaches the conclusion that life was created, ordained, as it were, by some divine intervention, which one to believe.
Is it a logical review of all the contenders, research into the merits of each claim?
I don't think so, once the closed loop is set up it's hard to break it. I am open to the possiblity that the origin of life was "created" but quoting text from people that thought the sun went round the earth aint gonna sway me.


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5835285 - 05/01/13 09:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

There are plenty of examples in religious text that claim...



Why can't we all just agree that lightning and thunder are generated when Thor swings his hammer and strikes his anvil?




I have for years thought our name (homo sapiens)should be changed. My first pick was the Mayan name for us, "Those Who Bear the Burden of Time". But i have come to think the better, would be, "the story telling ape".
We have so many "just so" stories.
The opening of my favorite "just so story" because it is so beautifully written...

Edited by moynihan (05/01/13 09:44 PM)


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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5835296 - 05/01/13 09:48 PM

Pretty good, but I prefer Doc Savage...

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5835329 - 05/01/13 10:14 PM

"I believe" is never a fertile argument in a scientific discussion.

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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5835330 - 05/01/13 10:15 PM

Okay guys. I am willing to allow some discussion of philosophy, but quoting bible verses (particularly ones that belittle other religions) is stepping too far.

From a science viewpoint, the problem with this answer:
Quote:

I told jarad I was finished with spiritual discussions so I will not address your first questions. I will however address your statement above as it is very easily challenged when we ask "Who designed the alien's DNA?"

I know, other aliens




is that you can replace the word "aliens" with "God", and you are in the same logical hole. Issues of faith will not be resolved with logic or evidence, which is why we avoid them here, regardless of whether we personally agree or disagree with the conclusion.

So let's step away from the religious references and stick to what we can figure out about the "how" regarding origins of life, based on things that can at least potentially be observed or measured.

Thanks,

Jarad


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5835446 - 05/01/13 11:40 PM

Exactly, Jarad. Claims about censorship on this topic are ironic, because once someone has inserted "belief" in the faith sense, they have already self-censored. They can no longer be addressed with any sort of fact-based argument.

It's no longer discussion, its proclamation.


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shawnhar
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5835475 - 05/02/13 12:08 AM

Quote:


Issues of faith will not be resolved with logic or evidence
Jarad



Actually many of those issues have been resolved and laid to rest many times over by logic and evidence. It's kinda what science does, investigate, experiment and explain how things happen.


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5835677 - 05/02/13 06:03 AM

Quote:

"I believe" is never a fertile argument in a scientific discussion.




It certainly is, it is the start of every hypotheses.


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835696 - 05/02/13 06:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

"I believe" is never a fertile argument in a scientific discussion.




It certainly is, it is the start of every hypotheses.




No, hypotheses start with "I wonder".

Jarad


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835724 - 05/02/13 07:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

"I believe" is never a fertile argument in a scientific discussion.


It certainly is, it is the start of every hypotheses.




Technically, no.
Belief is acceptance that something is true or real etc. Quite the opposite of the beginning of a hypothesis.

But this does illustrate why the matters of religious belief and science are pretty much apples and oranges (other than the scientific study of religious belief itself, in neuroscience, biology etc.).

Faith is belief without evidence for it, in the empirical sense. In science biogeophysical evidence is necessary. By its very definition, religion and faith are "supernatural". biogeophysical evidence for it (not the "act" of believing, such as runs of a temple, or some ancient text), for the symbolic object of belief, are not necessary, and do not exist in the first place. In the contemplation of such, assertions and bases of argument that would be logical fallacies in empirical thought do not bound the the discussion.

Matters religious and spiritual, are not subject to "persecution" here. Being told you are wrong is not persecution. This is not prejudice either. This is a science related forum.

I would myself expect a less than warm reception to my thoughts, if i raised astrology in this forum, or, if i entered a chess forum and began posting about poker, because both games have a beginning. Or, if in a forum about repair of internal combustion engines, I insisted that all problems arose from gizmos, the evil jins North African tribal folks thought were involved in engine operation when they first saw jeeps and trucks.

Perhaps the nicest way to explain the deferences is to think of science and religion, like games. Science has method (i.e "rules"). Religion has rules also (believe in god x or after physical death, you will be pain in place z, etc). Different games, different rules

Edited by moynihan (05/02/13 07:48 AM)


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Jarad
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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5835735 - 05/02/13 07:41 AM

Quote:

Being told you are wrong is not persecution.




Just to clarify, we do not tell people that their religion is wrong. That is neither the personal opinion nor the policy of the SASE moderators.

We do tell people that this is the wrong place to discuss religion.

Jarad


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5835744 - 05/02/13 07:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Being told you are wrong is not persecution.




Just to clarify, we do not tell people that their religion is wrong. That is neither the personal opinion nor the policy of the SASE moderators.

We do tell people that this is the wrong place to discuss religion.

Jarad




But if i make an assertion as to a matter of fact, for example, "Earth has no moon", i would hope someone might say i am wrong But literally, in the world in general, somebody telling you you are wrong is not persecution. Its use in this thread, is hyperbole.

Edited by moynihan (05/02/13 07:55 AM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5835795 - 05/02/13 08:33 AM

If "Earth has no Moon" was the basis of you religion, I would not be able to tell you you are wrong. You would feel persecuted, and it would only serve to strengthen your belief, not matter the evidence...get it yet?

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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5835898 - 05/02/13 09:51 AM

Quickdraw,

First, "Go Blue"...this is equivocal, do you meant Blue as in the Maize and Blue (University of Michigan) or Blue as in the real, true, good, holy, special, perfect, University of Kentucky Blue?


Second: A theological argument for extra-terrestrial sentient life:

You wrote, "I believe first that God has no reason to create life (at least intelligent life) elsewhere. If you believe in the Christian God you have to ask what motivation would there be to create “another mankind” elsewhere. Are they or us a plan B or C….Did God err in his ways or was his plan perfect due to his wisdom and foreknowledge?"

A Christian holds the eternal Word of God came to the area of Israel/Palestine/Canaan/Judea as the incarnate Jesus of Nazareth and he pretty much remained there his whole life. It would be later that a Roman citizen and Jew by the name of Saul, by his sobriquet of Paul, would travel the technological and political marvels of Roman roads and sea routes to evangelize/proselytize other peoples.

Since Paul took Christianity to other places and peoples to whom Jesus himself did not go, it is not a stretch to imagine that there could be other people (sentient beings) elsewhere (in the same universe) to whom future "Paul's" would evangelize/proselytize. They would then, to use your words, not part of a Plan B or C, but a continuation of Plan A.

Or, am I missing something in what you are saying? Let me know.

Otto


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Re: origin of life new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5835936 - 05/02/13 10:09 AM

Quote:

If "Earth has no Moon" was the basis of you religion, I would not be able to tell you you are wrong. You would feel persecuted, and it would only serve to strengthen your belief, not matter the evidence...get it yet?




You could say it, but it wouldn't be a point in a fact-based discussion.

This is why Stephen Jay Gould was actually mistaken about his "Non-Overlapping Magisteria" idea. There is, unfortunately, no way to reliably avoid overlap.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5835971 - 05/02/13 10:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If "Earth has no Moon" was the basis of you religion, I would not be able to tell you you are wrong. You would feel persecuted, and it would only serve to strengthen your belief, not matter the evidence...get it yet?




You could say it, but it wouldn't be a point in a fact-based discussion.

This is why Stephen Jay Gould was actually mistaken about his "Non-Overlapping Magisteria" idea. There is, unfortunately, no way to reliably avoid overlap.




I agree. Gould's "Non-Overlapping Magisteria", was a good marketing move for him , but not accurate. Maybe he was angling for the Templeton Prize


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5836039 - 05/02/13 11:05 AM

Otto, let's stay away from the theological here rather than veer back into it.

As to whether life somewhere else would be a "backup plan" for us, that would assume you understood what the plan was. The observation we do have is that the universe is very big compared to us. We are one planet around one star in one galaxy out of billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars. I think it is a little bit hubristic to assume that we are the sole reason for all that universe.

It seems to me with so many planets out there, it is very unlikely that we are the only life in the universe. The question is how frequent is life. It does seem quite reasonable to me that we may be the only life within a sufficient distance that we may never encounter any other life. But that's due to the vast size of the universe and the inherent difficulties of travelling or communicating over such distances, not because I think we are sufficient justification for the existence of the universe.

At the very least, any creator who had to create all of that just to get us would be very inefficient...

Jarad


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5836118 - 05/02/13 11:46 AM

Quote:


At the very least, any creator who had to create all of that just to get us would be very inefficient...

Jarad




Or would have a pretty wild sense of humor


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5836146 - 05/02/13 12:04 PM

that's why He made the Platypus and laughed..

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TVG
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5836192 - 05/02/13 12:32 PM

One of the more obvious flaws to this type of circular logic of a creator is who or what created the creator? From whence did the creator come from?

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Re: origin of life new [Re: TVG]
      #5836223 - 05/02/13 12:47 PM

alas, the creator would ask the same question of itself...

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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5836305 - 05/02/13 01:25 PM

Quote:

alas, the creator would ask the same question of itself...




The book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives has one heaven where when Mary Shelley dies, she get put in charge, God blaming her for writing Frankenstein, and starting him to think in new ways about a creator's relationship to the created, and if he is respondsibile for what a created thing does...He takes a time out to try and deal with that.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5836425 - 05/02/13 02:17 PM

This thread has run off the rails and is in danger of completely derailing
and running into an oncoming freight train.

Since the subject is the "origin of life" then the problem can be framed
as how do biological systems arise from prebiotic conditions in terms of
chemistry & molecular biology?

It would seem the minimum necessary requirement is a molecule which can
encode information which is both self-replicating and can function as
as a catalyst, like enzymes in modern cells do.

A likely candidate is RNA, which has led to the RNA World hypothesis, a term
coined by Walter Gilbert, a former theoretical physicist turned Nobel
Prize winning molecular biologist.

RNA can carry genetic information in the sequence of bases (purines &
pyrimidines), can replicate that information, and in configurations
known as Ribozymes can function as an "honorary" enzyme.

In this scenario, RNA predated both DNA and proteins (all enzymes are proteins,
but not all proteins are enzymes). The main problem is how RNA or a similiar
molecule arose from pre-biotic conditions. The problem appears difficult, but
not impossible.


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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: EJN]
      #5836516 - 05/02/13 02:50 PM

if we have found portions of the "building blocks of life" in meteors, wouldn't this suggest that the Universe is well populated?

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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5836614 - 05/02/13 03:45 PM

don't think that would rule out comtamination. I look forward to the asteroid recovery mission.

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Re: origin of life new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5836663 - 05/02/13 04:11 PM

I think it would suggest that the universe is well-supplied with building blocks. It doesn't answer the question of how often they get put together properly to form life.

Jarad


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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #5837470 - 05/02/13 11:39 PM

Quote:

if we have found portions of the "building blocks of life" in meteors, wouldn't this suggest that the Universe is well populated?




Not really, because "well" is a subjective adjective, and we don't know how well well is.

It does suggest, though, that life elsewhere is not impossible. It has no implications about how abundant or rare that life might be.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: EJN]
      #5837487 - 05/02/13 11:48 PM

Quote:

This thread has run off the rails and is in danger of completely derailing
and running into an oncoming freight train.

Since the subject is the "origin of life" then the problem can be framed
as how do biological systems arise from prebiotic conditions in terms of
chemistry & molecular biology?

It would seem the minimum necessary requirement is a molecule which can
encode information which is both self-replicating and can function as
as a catalyst, like enzymes in modern cells do.

A likely candidate is RNA, which has led to the RNA World hypothesis, a term
coined by Walter Gilbert, a former theoretical physicist turned Nobel
Prize winning molecular biologist.

RNA can carry genetic information in the sequence of bases (purines &
pyrimidines), can replicate that information, and in configurations
known as Ribozymes can function as an "honorary" enzyme.

In this scenario, RNA predated both DNA and proteins (all enzymes are proteins,
but not all proteins are enzymes). The main problem is how RNA or a similiar
molecule arose from pre-biotic conditions. The problem appears difficult, but
not impossible.




The other big question it leads to is whether RNA, and by extension DNA, is the default pathway for metabolically active replicators. Or alternatively, how many plausible inheritance molecules could exist?

My assumption has always been that DNA for life on earth, rather than some other molecule, is a historical happenstance, an evolutionary die that was cast in the distant past. But if the RNA world is a predictable result for conditions amenable to life, and necessary for it to move past protocells, then my assumption would be wrong.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5837518 - 05/03/13 12:18 AM



The human being is a complex bag of water and most likely did not evolve from a turnip or platypus... (sorry Darwin)


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5837630 - 05/03/13 03:44 AM

Sorry Darwin?

Do you know of anywhere that Darwin, or any other scientist, for that matter, claims humans evolved from a turnip or a platypus?


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Qwickdraw
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Jarad]
      #5837690 - 05/03/13 06:28 AM

Quote:

I think it would suggest that the universe is well-supplied with building blocks. It doesn't answer the question of how often they get put together properly to form life.

Jarad




"get put together" would suggest intervention which is entirely plausable IMO


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5837709 - 05/03/13 07:03 AM

I am perfectly happy to entertain that hypothesis as soon as you find some observational evidence for it that can't be explained by any current theory.

Jarad


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5838009 - 05/03/13 10:29 AM

If by "intervention" you mean the laws of chemistry, then sure. After all, water molecules have to get "put together properly" to form ice crystals, carbon and hydrogen have to be "put together properly" to form ethane...

The complexity of the system has nothing to do with the physical means of assembly.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5838026 - 05/03/13 10:34 AM

I believe entropy would play a significant role with this, would it not?

Todd


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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5838033 - 05/03/13 10:36 AM

Quote:

The human being is a complex bag of water and most likely did not evolve from a turnip or platypus... (sorry Darwin)




More than likely, humans and turnips and platypuses all evolved from the same primordial ooze, perhaps something that formed around a geothermal vent in some ancient sea. The different journeys have been long and difficult, no doubt with innumerable trials and failures along the way, but here we all are: distant cousins in the form of humans, turnips, and platypuses. I know that's hard to imagine, particularly for anyone who's unable (or even worse, unwilling) to acknowledge that we know more now about all manner of things than we did way back when, but what other possible explanation could there be for the existence of turnips? Nobody in His right mind would have created one.


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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5838122 - 05/03/13 11:14 AM

I am not sharing this quote because it is or is not scientifically valid, i just like.

"Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy."
Václav Havel

In one of his first speeches of his presidency of the new Chech republic, he said, "sometimes i see life as the universe's trying to do an end run on the 2nd law of thermodynamics."
What a politician, and what an audience it was that cheered the line

Edited by moynihan (05/03/13 11:24 AM)


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: moynihan]
      #5838252 - 05/03/13 12:17 PM

But in the end, the result is the same:

"You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't quit"


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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5838352 - 05/03/13 01:04 PM

But you can be perfectly comfortable, even happy, with refusing to play DNA's game and opting to let at least your own personal DNA end with you.

I will admit that the real mystery to me is how some of us are able to do this, but we are.


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StarWars
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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5839475 - 05/04/13 02:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The human being is a complex bag of water and most likely did not evolve from a turnip or platypus... (sorry Darwin)




More than likely, humans and turnips and platypuses all evolved from the same primordial ooze, perhaps something that formed around a geothermal vent in some ancient sea. The different journeys have been long and difficult, no doubt with innumerable trials and failures along the way, but here we all are: distant cousins in the form of humans, turnips, and platypuses. I know that's hard to imagine, particularly for anyone who's unable (or even worse, unwilling) to acknowledge that we know more now about all manner of things than we did way back when, but what other possible explanation could there be for the existence of turnips? Nobody in His right mind would have created one.





Don't forgets about the Mosasaurus.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSj7-Dx4sWs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xDXrYw3ArE


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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5839848 - 05/04/13 10:19 AM

And beetles. An inordinate fondness for beetles.

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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5839991 - 05/04/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

And beetles. An inordinate fondness for beetles.






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Re: origin of life new [Re: Joad]
      #5840903 - 05/04/13 11:12 PM

Quote:

But you can be perfectly comfortable, even happy, with refusing to play DNA's game and opting to let at least your own personal DNA end with you.

I will admit that the real mystery to me is how some of us are able to do this, but we are.




A number of years ago I started playing with genetic algorithms. I produced a couple of toy programs for my own amusement and ran them repeatedly.

My biggest surprise was that most lineages became extinct, even if they began with equal fitness to other lineages. ("Lineage" is actually a pretty fuzzy concept in a sexually reproducing population, since they also get remixed very thoroughly, but it also can include specific genetic sequences that are not subject to active and continuous selection). A reproducing population can continue indefinitely even if only a small subset of its genetic material is conserved.

If you think about Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam, who lived roughly 200,000 and 500,000 years ago, respectively, it becomes pretty clear. ME was not the first woman, nor was she the only woman of her generation. There were many thousand human women living at the same time that she was. Each had a unique mitochondrial lineage. Every single one of those lineages has gone extinct since then except hers (and of course that of all her female ancestors up to the time of the first mitochondria). Yet at the same time, the human population has grown enormously, even though most of its genetic lineages have failed.

And you can't say that either Mitochondrial Eve's mitochondria or Y-chromosome Adam's Y-chromosome genes were any more "fit" than those of their contemporaries. In a contest of equals, there can still be only one winner, if that's how the game is set up.

The lesson, I think, is that even if continuing your DNA into the future is your highest priority, chances are it won't happen anyway. So if you've decided not to worry about your DNA's future, you haven't really lost anything. Nature has ensured that there will be plenty other DNA-donors jockeying for position.


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StarWars
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Re: origin of life new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5841083 - 05/05/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The human being is a complex bag of water and most likely did not evolve from a turnip or platypus... (sorry Darwin)




More than likely, humans and turnips and platypuses all evolved from the same primordial ooze, perhaps something that formed around a geothermal vent in some ancient sea. The different journeys have been long and difficult, no doubt with innumerable trials and failures along the way, but here we all are: distant cousins in the form of humans, turnips, and platypuses. I know that's hard to imagine, particularly for anyone who's unable (or even worse, unwilling) to acknowledge that we know more now about all manner of things than we did way back when, but what other possible explanation could there be for the existence of turnips? Nobody in His right mind would have created one.





With all the doctors of science and super computers I would think they could definitively reverse engineer the human DNA back to the turnip and platypus...


If it doesn't make sense then it's not true....... Judge Judy


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Re: origin of life new [Re: StarWars]
      #5841200 - 05/05/13 07:04 AM

or the turnip truck

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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5841210 - 05/05/13 07:17 AM

Dave,

I am interested in knowing if you attempted/did the following or could extrapolate a conclusion based on the information you have from the studies you did:

Let us imagine that "Eve" was not created or died out. Does another female lineage replace "Eve's" and populates the earth?

Otto


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moynihan
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5841277 - 05/05/13 08:36 AM

Quote:

But you can be perfectly comfortable, even haThe lesson, I think, is that even if continuing your DNA into the future is your highest priority, chances are it won't happen anyway. So if you've decided not to worry about your DNA's future, you haven't really lost anything. Nature has ensured that there will be plenty other DNA-donors jockeying for position.




One time when Darwin was asked what he saw as the key distinction between us and the rest of "creation", he replied that he could get up in the morning and decide not to reproduce.

Edited by moynihan (05/05/13 01:18 PM)


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Re: origin of life new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5841438 - 05/05/13 11:00 AM

Quote:

Dave,

I am interested in knowing if you attempted/did the following or could extrapolate a conclusion based on the information you have from the studies you did:

Let us imagine that "Eve" was not created or died out. Does another female lineage replace "Eve's" and populates the earth?

Otto




Here's a difficult concept, for me, at least. "Mitochondrial Eve" was a real woman. But we only know of her indirectly, through the Mitochondrial DNA that has descended from her. And her identity is not as some individual, but more like a job description. It's a functional position, like "Queen Mother", or "Secretary of Ancestry". By definition, this Eve had to have had at least two daughters, (two, at least, who survived to reproduce) and at least one of those daughters had a mutation in in her mDNA that made it distinct from that of her sisters'. It need not have been a large mutation, or one of any functional consequence. It only need be traceable.

Through the generations, this bifurcation in DNA sequences continued, occasionally producing other bifurcations, until there is now a scattering of six major subgroupings, or haplogroups. Interestingly, Non-Africans all tend to host a single haplogroup, while Africans distribute the other 5.

Let's assume that a global disaster occurred, and all Europeans and Asians were to suffer extinction, wih only a few African groups surviving. Would the current Mitochondrial Eve still be valid?

No. The person who we now call Mitochndrial Eve would still have existed, of course, but the title would pass to one of her descendants, the one who gave birth to the most distantly surviving bifurcation.

There's another possibly difficult point: Mitochondrial Eve is NOT our only female ancestor. The only DNA she necessarily contributed to all of us is that of our mitochondria. Mitochondria are only passed down from mother to daughter. We had many other female ancestors, but all of those necessarily included at least one male in the ancestral line. It's highly possible that she contributed NO nuclear DNA, some of which could have been supplied by any of her contemporaries. Because nuclear DNA experiences recombination and mixing, and can come from either males or females, there is no way to trace it into the distant past (with the exception of some marker sequences, perhaps). Her descendants did not populate the Earth, because the Earth (or at least Africa -- and Europe and Asia if one counts Neandertals and Denisovans) was already populated. She merely supplied a single easily traceable genetic marker. Plenty of others could have supplied the rest.

So what if Mitochondrial Eve had never existed? Well, if that woman happened to be named Ayla and lived in the Sudan 200,000 years ago, and if someone went back in time and accidentally landed their time machine on top of her -- the human race would not suddenly have never existed. There were plenty of other women who could have been Mitochondrial Eve had their mDNA had the right opportunities. Maybe a woman who lived prior to Ayla, possibly her grandmother, might have been the title-holder. Maybe her cousin. Maybe a distant relative in Ethiopia. As I mentioned before, inheritance in single lineages is not necessarily a competition based on fitness. It can very well be a contest of equals. And if one competitor is eliminated, there are many others standing by.


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5841653 - 05/05/13 01:10 PM

I understand. Thank you. Otto

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StarWars
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Mister T]
      #5842035 - 05/05/13 05:04 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Quote:

or the turnip truck





Darwin delivered turnips in a truck...


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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5864244 - 05/16/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

If by "intervention" you mean the laws of chemistry, then sure. After all, water molecules have to get "put together properly" to form ice crystals, carbon and hydrogen have to be "put together properly" to form ethane...

The complexity of the system has nothing to do with the physical means of assembly.




Accumulation of reactions leads to complexity!Because of the second law of thermodynamics, the creation of complexity cannot be the driving force of the events, but it rather emerges as the natural result of the accumulation of many simple spontaneously occuring events


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #5865655 - 05/16/13 07:13 PM

Again, entropy in action. Matter condenses as energy dissipates, and because matter has inherent structure, it condenses into specific structures rather than featureless lumps.

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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6033010 - 08/18/13 02:43 PM

If life is a system of random chemical reactions and it is our perspective (ch. reactions as reference frame) observing this system from the inside, the key element that defines what we perceive as life ,then some more questions arise.
Question: How can chemical reactions that occur in a random way, lead to the formation of the structures we see and perceive as animals, plants, organisms, etc. Why don’t we see a random soup and mixture of gasses and fluids?

Answer:
If you put some living cells inside a flask in the lab and leave it untouched for some days, you realize that the difference between living cells and dead cells is this: Dead cells float in the fluid while living cells are strongly attached to the flask walls. It is therefore a property of living cells to adhere and stick with on another and to surfaces.
Similarly many random chemical reactions will eventually lead to some reactions that gives some molecules the ability to adhere with one another and also to surfaces. These reactions will eventualy prevail and become the basis for further complexity, because the chemical compounds will not go away and lead to dead ends. This makes the process multifocal rather than diffuse. Thereafter, these focal sites of increasing complexity will interact with one another and the systems with the greatest capacity to survive will continue happening and will become more complicated, leading eventually to what we perceive as natural selection… The rest is already known..


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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #6033100 - 08/18/13 03:43 PM

Did you not read the 200 previous posts in this thread?

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Mister T
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6033468 - 08/18/13 07:31 PM

anyone who says they did is lying....

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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: Mister T]
      #6036473 - 08/20/13 01:07 PM

lol!! Believe it or not i read almost all of the posts and it was not difficult at all! I should also acknowledge that some of them were very helpful for me to evolve my insights, despite the disagreement. I think this is another good example about how online collaborative tools can be helpful..

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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #6199457 - 11/17/13 06:34 AM

I have read recently that we are whatever happened to our anchestors. There is some kind of memory in our body and events that happened to our predecessors in a way remain in our own body. To me,this cannot be explained solely by mutations in the absolute King(DNA)that pass to the next generation and slightly differentiates a strictly programmed process. On the contrary, it suggests that the reactions of today are the direct results of the reactions that preexisted. DNA is not the sole ruler, but only a small puzzle in the whole chemical reaction system. The idea that it can stand alone and give birth to the origin of life is a misconception of us, due to our subjective point of view as viewing the system from inside. To me,what gives DNA a momentum is the already existing system of the other reactions.

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derangedhermit
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #6200692 - 11/17/13 08:57 PM

Vick? Is that you?

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scopethis
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Re: origin of life new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6201432 - 11/18/13 10:54 AM

Sagan's "The Dragons of Eden"...

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: scopethis]
      #6201445 - 11/18/13 11:02 AM

I read that book back in the '70s. I liked it at the time, but Sagan was speculating beyond his expertise.

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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6209121 - 11/22/13 10:33 AM

amazing Carl Sagan!!

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minos
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #6307603 - 01/12/14 06:57 AM

In every conversation i hear the argument that our solar system is located in a precise place in the galaxy, earth is located in a precise distance from the sun, has a precise size, etc. I think that we forget the most important fact: that we are the reference frame. Everything in the universe has a precise and unique history and it is very difficult to be repeated exactly. If earth was a bit closer to the sun we wouldn't have been here the way we are now in the first place. We would have been something else, somewhere else in a different way. And in that case if we studied physical phenomena, we again would have found precise phenomena that would have been difficult to be repeated as well. I even showed previously that even random chemical reactions can be perceived as sophisticated if the reference frame is a resulting sum of reactions inside the whole system, and judges everything from the inside. But is exactly what we are?

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llanitedave
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Re: origin of life new [Re: minos]
      #6307828 - 01/12/14 10:33 AM

There's no precision involved. The habitable zone of the galaxy is actually pretty broad, as is the habitable zone of the solar system. The range of planets that support life is also apparently, at least, pretty broad.

Yes, if things had been even slightly different, we wouldn't be the same species we are today, but that applies also to every contingency that's occurred on this planet since the beginning, and in our individual lives as well. If I hadn't happened to see that Edmund Scientific catalog back in 1969, I wouldn't be the person I am today either.


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