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Abiogenesis & the Tooth Fairy

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#1 astroneil

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:42 PM

https://www.nature.c...598-020-58060-0

 

 

Commentary on said paper;

 

https://evolutionnew...bering-results/

 

 

RNA World reality check(Philip Ball(chemist) former editor of Nature);

 

https://www.chemistr...4011172.article


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#2 OldManSky

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 05:23 PM

Just so anyone reading is clear:  the second site above is a dishonest front for the "Discovery Institute," promoters of the proven-dishonest-in-court "intelligent design" proponents, and full of cherry-picking, half-truths, and flat-out falsehoods.  It is not a science site.


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#3 astroneil

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 05:31 PM

SNIP: Just so anyone reading is clear:  the second site above is a dishonest front for the "Discovery Institute," promoters of the proven-dishonest-in-court "intelligent design" proponents, and full of cherry-picking, half-truths, and flat-out falsehoods.  It is not a science site.

 

 

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:53 AM

astroneil, on 26 Mar 2020 - 1:30 PM, said:

GTF

 

https://evolutionnew...aran-sediments/

 

Very nice counter-interpretation.  It leads inevitably to one of the most exciting phrases in science:

"More work is needed."

 

Source: https://www.cloudyni...als-identified/


Edited by astroneil, 23 April 2020 - 05:33 PM.

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#4 Simcal

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 05:44 PM

"it was aliens"

 

 

So thinking about this further, wouldn't it be fair to postulate that in the lifespan of the earth, there has been xx number of chemical reactions which has been sufficient to cause abiotic abiogenetic RNA to form (seems proven?, political leaders aside), and therefore, any alien environment providing a similar capacity of chemical reactions ( and reactants), should logically lead to the formation of alien abiotic RNA = life?

 

It would have been nice of the author to do the back calculation to determine the odds of our existence.. if he's saying it is truly, extremely unlikely.


Edited by Simcal, 23 April 2020 - 05:49 PM.


#5 DaveC2042

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 10:30 PM

More nonsense. Sigh.
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#6 llanitedave

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 11:23 PM



SNIP: Just so anyone reading is clear:  the second site above is a dishonest front for the "Discovery Institute," promoters of the proven-dishonest-in-court "intelligent design" proponents, and full of cherry-picking, half-truths, and flat-out falsehoods.  It is not a science site.

 

 

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:53 AM

astroneil, on 26 Mar 2020 - 1:30 PM, said:

GTF

 

https://evolutionnew...aran-sediments/

 

Very nice counter-interpretation.  It leads inevitably to one of the most exciting phrases in science:

"More work is needed."

 

Source: https://www.cloudyni...als-identified/


Even liars occasionally make useful comments, Neil.  The article that led to your quote from me pointed out interpretations that had not been addressed by the original paper.  It did not show that those alternative interpretations were in any way superior to the author's.  The more work that is needed could actually be fairly straightforwardly done.

 

But OldManSky is correct.  "Evolution News and Views" is an anti-science, religious site posing as a scientific source.  It occasionally produces useful critiques of new papers.  What it does NOT do is any science of its own.  And the Discovery Institute still hasn't wiped the mud from it's face after its humiliating adventure in Kitzmiller vs Dover Board of Education, which it triggered and then tried to run away from.

 

But here you go, adopting the same dishonest tactic as the site you promote:  taking a quote that expresses approval of a single entry as support for the entire organization.  Typical creationist slime.


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#7 llanitedave

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 11:31 PM

"it was aliens"

 

 

So thinking about this further, wouldn't it be fair to postulate that in the lifespan of the earth, there has been xx number of chemical reactions which has been sufficient to cause abiotic abiogenetic RNA to form (seems proven?, political leaders aside), and therefore, any alien environment providing a similar capacity of chemical reactions ( and reactants), should logically lead to the formation of alien abiotic RNA = life?

 

It would have been nice of the author to do the back calculation to determine the odds of our existence.. if he's saying it is truly, extremely unlikely.

Those kinds of calculations aren't worth the electrons they're posted with, since they depend on questionable, and usually blatantly subjective assumptions.  If the odds were currently tractable, it would be because the processes and, circumstances, and environments were reasonably well constrained.  Unfortunately, they're not.

 

Even with the Drake equation, we at least understand what the variables that we're estimating are -- we just don't have a good value for most of them.  For abiogenesis, we don't yet even understand all the variables, and may in fact never get to that point.

 

If life can form on multiple worlds, it may well be that there are multiple pathways that could lead to the eventual appearance of biology.  If so, even if we stumble on an abiogenic process, we can't be sure that it's the one that actually took place on Earth.


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#8 OldManSky

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 08:17 AM

Those kinds of calculations aren't worth the electrons they're posted with, since they depend on questionable, and usually blatantly subjective assumptions.  If the odds were currently tractable, it would be because the processes and, circumstances, and environments were reasonably well constrained.  Unfortunately, they're not.

 

Even with the Drake equation, we at least understand what the variables that we're estimating are -- we just don't have a good value for most of them.  For abiogenesis, we don't yet even understand all the variables, and may in fact never get to that point.

 

If life can form on multiple worlds, it may well be that there are multiple pathways that could lead to the eventual appearance of biology.  If so, even if we stumble on an abiogenic process, we can't be sure that it's the one that actually took place on Earth.

Exactly.  We may never actually know how life on earth began (or got here, or whatever...).  Which is a little sad, but fine and honest.  Not knowing doesn't mean "god did it" (or the tooth fairy did it) :)


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#9 ColoHank

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:18 AM

I can't bother with idle speculation about the origins of life.  I'm too busy tracing the taxonomy of unicorns, whose beginnings date back to the Eocene or perhaps even earlier.


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#10 llanitedave

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 12:23 PM

I can't bother with idle speculation about the origins of life.  I'm too busy tracing the taxonomy of unicorns, whose beginnings date back to the Eocene or perhaps even earlier.

Being perissodactyls, that's almost certainly true.  I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile trying to interbreed unicornids and pegasids.  They may not be that distantly related.


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#11 Crow Haven

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 12:46 PM

Being perissodactyls, that's almost certainly true.  I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile trying to interbreed unicornids and pegasids.  They may not be that distantly related.

Wow, where can I get one of those?!

lol.gif



#12 goodricke1

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 01:48 PM

But I think we can all agree that if Earth could be proven to be the only place in the Universe with life, then life must be 'intelligently designed' or 'supernatural'. It doesn't seem possible to ever conclusively decide that we are alone though.



#13 FirstSight

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 04:07 PM

Being perissodactyls, that's almost certainly true....

Um...does "perissodactyls" mean you had some sort of life-changing interaction with a pterodactyl?  OK, so looking up the definition, turns out that my first-pass guess was wrong, and it has instead something to do with ungulates like horses, asses, and zebras.  I'm still stumped what you meant by that self-characterization....confused1.gif        grin.gif



#14 ColoHank

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 04:12 PM

Being perissodactyls, that's almost certainly true.  I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile trying to interbreed unicornids and pegasids.  They may not be that distantly related.

How about centaurs?  They must have a branch on that family tree.



#15 City Kid

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 04:19 PM

But I think we can all agree that if Earth could be proven to be the only place in the Universe with life, then life must be 'intelligently designed' or 'supernatural'. 

Why would anyone reach that conclusion unless that's just the conclusion they wanted to reach? 


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#16 russell23

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 05:24 PM

One thing I've learned about designers and those that create ... They never stop their creativity with just one example.  Once they get their creative juices flowing they keep on creating new things.  

 

Think about it:

 

Is there just one Garth Brooks song?  Or one Van Gogh painting?  Or one Arthur C. Clarke novel?  And so on ...

 

The answer is of course "no".  Creators keep creating.  They don't make one, flop into a hammock declaring all is great, and spend the rest of their days toiling away mindlessly in said hammock.

 

Seems like any designer that limited his or her self to just one would actually be very limited in ability. 

 

I suppose one could point to Adele as a counter argument because I tell my wife all the time that they are playing "The Adele song" on the radio again.  I'm pretty sure she just sings one song.  Not sure why they keep releasing it every year with a new name.  Sounds the same every time.  Kind of like topics that keep popping up on what are supposed to be science forums.  :)



#17 DaveC2042

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 07:48 PM

But I think we can all agree that if Earth could be proven to be the only place in the Universe with life, then life must be 'intelligently designed' or 'supernatural'. It doesn't seem possible to ever conclusively decide that we are alone though.


No. It would definitely want some explanation, but that's no reason to start invoking magic.

Here's a thought for you.

Leaving aside some minor technicalities about simultaneity, there will be someone, somewhere in the universe, who is first. They will look around and conclude they are alone, and wonder why. Perhaps it is us.
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#18 llanitedave

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 08:07 PM

Wow, where can I get one of those?!

lol.gif

It's very difficult to find Pegacorns these days that are not GMO.


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#19 DaveC2042

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 08:09 PM

Those kinds of calculations aren't worth the electrons they're posted with, since they depend on questionable, and usually blatantly subjective assumptions. If the odds were currently tractable, it would be because the processes and, circumstances, and environments were reasonably well constrained. Unfortunately, they're not.

Even with the Drake equation, we at least understand what the variables that we're estimating are -- we just don't have a good value for most of them. For abiogenesis, we don't yet even understand all the variables, and may in fact never get to that point.

If life can form on multiple worlds, it may well be that there are multiple pathways that could lead to the eventual appearance of biology. If so, even if we stumble on an abiogenic process, we can't be sure that it's the one that actually took place on Earth.


One aspect of the difficulty is that are multiplying an extremely small number (probability of life starting in a given place and time) by an extremely large number (time and space available), hoping to land on a medium-sized number.

The whole exercise is ridiculously sensitive to small changes in that small number, so it's very hard to assess whether what you're calculating makes any sense.

#20 llanitedave

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 08:10 PM

How about centaurs?  They must have a branch on that family tree.

Kind of like the interbreeding of modern Humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans -- but less understandable.



#21 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 06:24 AM

But I think we can all agree that if Earth could be proven to be the only place in the Universe with life, then life must be 'intelligently designed' or 'supernatural'.

Certainly not! In fact, I give roughly equal credence to all three of these possibilities:

 

1. Intelligent life is widespread in the universe.

2. Life is widespread, but intelligent life is rare.

3. There is only one instance of life in the universe, namely right here.

 

In absence of a plausible explanation for abiogenesis -- and I really don't think any of the current ideas holds much water -- it seems unreasonable to rule out #3. Of course it's pretty hard to imagine how such a hypothesis could ever be proved.

 

But if it could be proved that abiogenesis were vanishingly improbable, my conclusion would be that of all the possible universe, and all the possible places in those universes, we are the only one where there are observers to note that fact. The anthropic principle.

 

I grant that when you're getting into such wild speculations, the idea of supernatural origin seems only marginally less plausible than the anthropic principle. But for me, the supernatural theory creates far more problems than it solves. Obviously, other highly intelligent people feel differently, and I respect their opinions.

 

I sure hope that somebody does come up with a plausible abiogenesis theory, but I'm not holding my breath.


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#22 Crow Haven

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 11:04 AM

Well, I feel like I got my wish and I didn't have to lose a tooth, being born here, to explore a planet of amazingly varied life.  There are more things on this planet than any human could possibly discover and appreciate in many lifetimes.  Yes, life would be interesting on some other planet, but I hit the jackpot being born in this form on this planet now.  This is the place to be, for me at least, even without unicorns and flying horses. lol.gif


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#23 OldManSky

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 09:33 PM

But I think we can all agree that if Earth could be proven to be the only place in the Universe with life, then life must be 'intelligently designed' or 'supernatural'. It doesn't seem possible to ever conclusively decide that we are alone though.

No, actually, we can't.  How common/uncommon life on earth is, that's "evidence" for the commonality/uncommonality of life. 

But whether life in the universe is common or uncommon (or we're the only life), is not evidence of "intelligent design" or of anything supernatural.  To make that claim would require *evidence* of "intelligent design" or something supernatural.  That is the absolute fundamental non-scientific flaw in all "ID" claims (their rank dishonesty aside) -- they think disproving evolution proves "we were designed" -- it doesn't, it only disproves evolution (not that an observed fact will be disproved...).  They think showing we're "special" proves "we were designed" -- it doesn't, it only shows how rare/not rare we are.

 

Guesses and speculation (what ID is) don't "win" by default.  Claims require evidence.  Period.  Without evidence of intelligent design or something supernatural, there is no reason of any kind to assume either.


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#24 Mister T

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:24 AM

How about centaurs?  They must have a branch on that family tree.

I believe they have successfully bred Centaurs wit Motorcycles.

I have seen a Motaur on TV!



#25 bobhen

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:58 AM

Well, I feel like I got my wish and I didn't have to lose a tooth, being born here, to explore a planet of amazingly varied life.  There are more things on this planet than any human could possibly discover and appreciate in many lifetimes.  Yes, life would be interesting on some other planet, but I hit the jackpot being born in this form on this planet now.  This is the place to be, for me at least, even without unicorns and flying horses. lol.gif

You feel a kinship with your planet/environment because millions of years of evolution modeled you that way. An alien on another planet would feel exactly the same about its planet.

 

Bob


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