the END goal...

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TurboLung
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 02:32 am
@richrf,
richrf;70005 wrote:
If you can lose the sensation of time ... but then, how does the mind do it?

Rich


I am not sure exactly what you mean. Do you mean that I, yself lose the sensation of time, or, in dreams, there is no structured time?

---------- Post added at 06:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:32 PM ----------

richrf;70537 wrote:
Hi,

How and why? This is the stuff of metaphysics.

I have read many books written by scientists/philosophers that readily admit the self-imposed limits of science - i.e. it limits itself to that which can be measured via instrumentation. How's and why's are simply not of interest to many scientists. This is fine. But, why does everyone else have to live within their self-imposed limits?

Words such as chemical reactions, catalysts, energy, etc. These are just words. They do not explain how it started. What was the impetus for the first movement? What is the impetus for any movement? What sparks an idea? What is consciousness? How did it begin? Why did it begin? This is the stuff of metaphysics and people have pondered this since the dawn of history. I say let's keep the winning streak going! Smile

Rich



if there are aliens [Approximately 100 billion galaxies in the known universe, each with a billion starts and more planets, so, being conservative, let's say there are lifeforms on 1 planet per galaxy, then we would have at least 100 billion different life bearing planets multiplied by the amount of species on that planet. Now let's say some of those are intelligent.] then we could hope one day to meet them. they may see us like we do cows and slaughter us, or, they may treat us like monkeys and experiment on us but generally leave us alone. however, maybe [i doubt it] they would share their knowledge and this is the only way i could see humans in the near future finding out the questions we ask.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 03:34 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70532 wrote:
Look up a dictionary.
What you seem not to have grasped is that the term "organic" can be, and is often, used to mean pertaining to life, not simply life or living itself. So methane is an organic molecule because it is so often a building block of life, or a waste product of life. However, there are other ways in which methane can be formed besides living processes.

Quote:
Thanks for the video, it explains plenty, except for the most crucial point; how non-living matter suddenly decided to live.
"Decided" is a wholly anthropomorphic term. To assume that all organic processes result due to decisions is human chauvanism. It's even pretty ignorant of human physiology to assume that decisions are necesary for life - most of the living processes in our body are unconscious. You don't decide when to create new blood cells, for example.

In fact "life" itself is a rather arbitrary label. The theory of abiogenesis explains ways in which self-replicating organic molecules could have arisen and how they could have built shells of lipid and/or protein about themselves. These early "lifelike" structures were a lot more simple than viruses - and viruses are not considered to be living by many of the criteria that biologists assign to life forms.

How did self-replicating organic compounds become more complex - to the point where they meet all the commonly agreed upon criteria for life? Well, that is a process more fully explained by evolution by natural selection and symbiosis of cellular and precellular forms of life (or of lifelike forms, or of a combination of the two).

So starting from nucleotides we see simple (in relative terms) organic (note that organic pertains to life but needn't imply life) chemicals which link up due to relatively simple chemical reactions to form polynucleotides which are subject to natural selection simply by the dint that some of these chains are less likely than others to be broken down by environmental factors - but which have the further property of splitting and recombining to replicate themselves. RNA and DNA are two examples of these relatively tough polynucleotides. Those strands of RNA and DNA that by dint of their shape attract and/or trap lipids are even better at surviving.

Each stage takes us further away from simple molecules and compounds and further towards something that displays the full characteristics of life. The point at which any particular person claims "that's no longer merely a molecule but a living thing" is down to their personal criteria for life - most biologists would place the point between the development of the first viruses and the development of the first prokaryotes.

Others might disagree, but wherever the line is drawn the process leading from nucleotides to complex multicellular life is there to examine.

Quote:
The presenter even tells us that this theory is not accepted by most and that there is a bit of poetic license in filling in the gaps.
Does he? He certainly doesn't use those words. I think you are making an attempt to misrepresent the video.

He admits that the research is 'in it's infancy' and 'not as well supported as evolution'. However, this is different than suggesting people are just making things up or that there are widely held objections to the theory by those who understand it.
Quote:
At best, the presenter admits that this allows scientists to at least say that 'life did not just come from nowhere."
You're being dishonest.

I'm sorry if your personally held beliefs are threatened by this sort of thing, but if you have to misrepresent people's arguments to this degree it's probably best you head back to Sunday School to hear some explanations anyone can easily understand.


At best:
  • The video gives a primer on the conditions of the primordial earth.
  • It gives a primer on how phosphates are formed and how that attach to nucleotides (the code carrying blocks which form the important part of DNA).
  • It gives a primer on the formation of polynucleotides (chains of the code carrying blocks).
  • It gives a primer on how a catalyst for the reactions needed to form polynucleotides was abundant in the primordial soup.
  • It gives a primer on how natural selection might favour certain polynucleotides over others.
  • It gives a primer on how polynucleotides formed RNA as a result of such natural selction.
  • It gives a primer on how RNA would go on to form DNA as a further result of natural selection.
  • Finally, it deals with some common objections and misconceptions.
Did you miss all of this?

I think the degree of explanation is not bad for a 5 minute YouTube vid. Seeing as you can't discuss all the ramifications of abiogenesis in 5 minutes there are some shortcuts. It doesn't go into every detail, but that's because it's aimed at people like you who seem to struggle to grasp the nuts and bolts. To adopt your own attitude towards Aedes - go look up some encyclopedias and articles on the subject if you require further elucidation.

Quote:
Another point, let's accept that these chemicals all connected to start life. Is it not absurdly coincidental that these ingredients are just there and connect in such a way to create life?
Why? What would you expect to find on a rocky wet planet within the habitable zone? Are you saying it's unusual for the elements that form the molecules discussed in the video to be found on wet rocky planets?

The Goldilocks Hypothesis of "isn't everything just a bit too convenient for us to be a coincidence" is a pat creationist objection to abiogenesis, and it's easy to disabuse.

Firstly whilst the likelihood of any particular random planet bearing life might be very low a huge number of planets may exist that bear the criteria for abiogenesis to occur. We know of one in our own solar system, Earth. Mars may also have shared enough of these criteria in the past before the thinning of its atmosphere. Even certain moons of Jupiter are thought to be capable of bearing a primordial soup.

Based on the fact that the only solar system we have full knowledge of contains at least 1 habitable planet let's be quite conservative and suggest that one in every 1000 solar systems bears a planet or moon in the habitable zone with similar characteristics to the primordial earth. I'd say that was a reasonably safe bet.

How many potentially habitable planets would therefore exist in the universe? The number is potentially astronomical.

Once abiogenesis gets life started natural selection ensures that organisms adapt to the environment. So of course things seem convenient to us - we've adapted to them over aeons, so it would actually be extremely odd if they didn't.


Evolution leads us to expect to find organisms which find their surroundings convenient. Organisms which found their surroundings pathanogenic would soon be out of the evolutionary loop, pronto.

Quote:
Would this mean that life is nothing special and can be created almost anywhere with the right ingredients? A bit of this, a bit of that and maybe a Frankenstein-like lightning strike?

I think it's a pretty plausable upshot, yes. However, I don't think alien life would be "nothing special" - I think it would be fascinating, even if it occured on a variety of worlds. The number of different possible organisms to be discovered on an earthlike planet would undoubtably form the basis for entirely new branches of biology. Indeed, xenobiology is an exciting field even in the absence of any real test subjects.

Quote:
Also, in relation to the comment on quantum theory, I am not "dropping names" but having a bit of a joke, as quantum theory more or less allows for anything to happen or to be possible. Perhaps you are not aware of quantum theory.

Richard Feynman said "if you think you understand quantum theory - you don't understand quantum theory", and I don't see who I am to challenge him. Seeing as you don't seem to understand relatively simple theories such as evolution or abiogenesis, and that you have misrepresented Darwin in the thread already, I think the likelihood of you understanding applications of quantum regarding the generation of life in comparison to the likelihood of you name dropping it for effect are pretty low.

By all means disabuse me by giving me a primer in your own words about what aspects of quantum theory might lead to abiogenesis occuring in a jar of water with a rock in it beyond "quantum theory means anything can happen". How could quantum theory make replicating organisms appear in a static environment with no catalyst?That will put me in my place.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 07:01 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70532 wrote:
Look up a dictionary.
All right, here you go since you asked.

For the record, for everyone to stay caught up, I am insisting that organic molecules are specifically defined as carbon-based molecules, that at minimum have one carbon-hydrogen bond, and include simple organic molecules like methane, ethane, ethanol, glycerol, and alanine. And that it is polymers of organic molecules that are the material constituents of living cells.

TurboLung insists that organic pertains only to life forms and their products.

And the reason for this debate is that I used the term "organic garbage" when discussing the primordial soup. And by this I was more formally referring to the collection of organic monomers that are proposed to have arisen in the primordial soup, and that have been reproduced in small experiments that model the primordial soup conditions.

organic - Wiktionary (see definition #2)
organic definition | Dictionary.com (see definition #1)
organic - definition of organic by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. (see definitions adj #7 and noun #2)
organic - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (see section b, #1-2)


Organic compound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Organic chemistry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abiogenesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Miller?Urey experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 07:45 am
@TurboLung,
Ah, in that case even my own use of the term organic was too "living things chauvanistic".
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:28 am
@Dave Allen,
Hi,


Quote:
Once abiogenesis gets life started natural selection ensures that organisms adapt to the environment
.

abiogenesis: is this another word for God? For me, creating words does not answer questions - it just hides them.

From Wikipedia:

"On the other hand, the exact sequence of chemical events that led to the first nucleic acids is not known."

As for me, I'm ust looking to understand how things got started and why things change - and I'll do it My Way.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:32 am
@richrf,
richrf;70603 wrote:
is this another word for God? For me, creating words does not answer questions - it just hides them.
The concepts referred to in the word abiogenesis are hardly elusive or difficult to find. The word is not the answer itself. But you know that already.
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:33 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;70570 wrote:

What you seem not to have grasped is that the term "organic" can be, and is often, used to mean pertaining to life, not simply life or living itself. So methane is an organic molecule because it is so often a building block of life, or a waste product of life. However, there are other ways in which methane can be formed besides living processes.


"Decided" is a wholly anthropomorphic term. To assume that all organic processes result due to decisions is human chauvanism. It's even pretty ignorant of human psysiology to assume that decisions are necesary for life - most of the living processes in our body are unconscious. You don't decide when to create new blood cells, for example.


sadly, the more i deal with intelligent people, the more i realise that the old axiom is true; that intelligent people rarely posses common sense.

do i really need to be so literal for you? do you really think, in any unbiased way, that i would actually believe that a lipid and nucleotide sat down together over a cup of tea and came to the conclusion that they should join ranks and head down the path of life? do you believe that anyone, would actually consider that there was some type of huge debate raging in earth's primordial soup on whether it was worth the effort of growing some legs and leaving the oceans? perhaps i will post diagrams with my posts so that the chances of you becoming confused is reduced.

:sarcastic:

[quote]In fact "life" itself is a rather arbitrary label. The theory of abiogenesis explains ways in which self-replicating organic molecules could have arisen and how they could have built shells of lipid and/or protein about themselves. These early "lifelike" structures were a lot more simple than viruses - and viruses are not considered to be living by many of the criteria that biologists assign to life forms.[/quote]

so, these same people who cannot decide whether or not a virus is alive are the same people who are impressing on us how life formed from nothing [oh, and of course, the lightning strike]?

[quote]How did self-replicating organic compounds become more complex - to the point where they meet all the commonly agreed upon criteria for life? Well, that is a process more fully explained by evolution by natural selection and symbiosis of cellular and precellular forms of life (or of lifelike forms, or of a combination of the two).[/quote]

a plausible theory, but that is all it is; a theory. from my research, i have come to understand that many theories, which are often touted as rock-solid, are dismissed and dismantled quite easily and replaced by a completely new and fresh theory, only to have that one replaced like a pair of soiled underpants later on. oh, of course, we would never see incorrect theories from the best and brightest, like, say, stephen hawkins on black holes or, maybe einstein on... [drum roll] the theory that the speed of light is always constant...

references:

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Einstein's theory 'may be wrong'

&

CNN.com - Einstein's theory may be relatively wrong - August 8, 2002


[quote]Does he? He certainly doesn't use those words. I think you are making an attempt to misrepresent the video.[/quote]

now, why would i misinterprit the video? does the presenter not clearly advise that the theory is not as well supported as evolution? Let's take a breather and and think about this for a little while. why would something be not as well supported as something else? would it be that other scientists disagree? would it be that many scientists do not agree? would it be that there are huge, missing chunks of evidence? would it be, maybe, that this theory is a stab in the dark? let's think about that sentence again; not as well supported as evolution. if somebody said to you, "you can cross that bridge, but, the belief is that it's reliability isn't as well supported as the bridge down the road," would you feel comfortable crossing it? am i being literal enough for you?

[quote]He admits that the research is 'in it's infancy'[/quote]

infancy? as in, the theory is just being looked at? are you telling me that you, with all your explanations and intractable viewpoints, actually throw all your faith in some... theory... that is still in diapers? :poke-eye:

[quote]You are being dishonest.[/quote]

:sarcastic:

[quote]I'm sorry if your personally held beliefs are threatened by this sort of thing, but if you have to misrepresent people's arguments to this degree it's probably best you head back to Sunday School to hear some explanations anyone can easily understand.[/quote]

oh, right, i understand now; if people are a little dubious on flimsy, nipple suckling, vaguely supported theories, then, of course, they must be religious, because we all know how those religious nuts are... :brickwall:






[quote]At best:[/quote]
Quote:

  • The video gives a primer on the conditions of the primordial earth.
  • It gives a primer on how phosphates are formed and how that attach to nucleotides (the code carrying blocks which form the important part of DNA).
  • It gives a primer on the formation of polynucleotides (chains of the code carrying blocks).
  • It gives a primer on how a catalyst for the reactions needed to form polynucleotides was abundant in the primordial soup.
  • It gives a primer on how natural selection might favour certain polynucleotides over others.
  • It gives a primer on how polynucleotides formed RNA as a result of such natural selction.
  • It gives a primer on how RNA would go on to form DNA as a further result of natural selection.
  • Finally, it deals with some common objections and misconceptions.
Did you miss all of this?


no, but maybe we need to find something beyond a primer.

-verb (used with object) 25.to prepare or make ready for a particular purpose or operation.


reference:

primer definition | Dictionary.com

once you have a little more than a theory based on some possible preperations, then i will jump aboard the primordial soup train whole-heartedly.

[quote]because it's aimed at people like you who just don't seem able to grasp the nuts and bolts. Baby steps. To adopt your own attitude towards Aedes - go look up some encyclopedias and articles on the subject if you require further elucidation.[/quote]

or people, perhaps, who can't think for themselves? people who maybe soak in lines of text on theories and believe them with the same vigour as, say, an evangelist frothing at the mouth?

grasp the nuts and bolts? yeah, you are right on that one, because, all you have with your theory [in its infancy] is, at best, nuts and bolts.

[quote]Why? What would you expect to find on a rocky wet planet within the habitable zone? Are you saying it's unusual for the elements that form the molecules discussed in the video to be found on planets?[/quote]

primordial soup rave party?

[quote]How many potentially habitable planets would therefore exist in the universe? The number is potentially astronomical.[/quote]

i would says billions upon billions. no objection there.

[quote]Once abiogenesis gets life started natural selection ensures that organisms adapt to the environment.[/quote]

are you certain that natural selection would work similar to that of earth's species? before we get too carried away about martians and the empire stikes back let's go back to the primordial soup and primer.

[quote]Richard Feynman said "if you think you understand quantum theory - you don't understand quantum theory".[/quote]

good for richard, however, when i mentioned that i joked about quantum theory and how it was possible for anything to happen in the universe, i did not simply make this up. the whole idea behind quantum physics is that nothing is stable, predictable or works the way we expect.

[quote]Seeing as you don't seem to understand relatively simple theories such as evolution or abiogenesis, and that you have misrepresented Darwin in the thread already, I think the liklihood of you understanding applications of quantum in comparison to the likelihood of you name dropping it are low.[/quote]

oh, i understand the relatively simple theory of primordial bottle-feeding soup, but, unlike yourself, i do not believe 100% everything i hear.

[quote]How could quantum theory make replicating organisms appear in a static environment with no catalyst? That will put me in my place.[/quote]

that's the point, i can't, because, if i could, the whole idea behind quantum theory would collapse. how could i possibly explain how quantum theory works, when, it is unpredictable? by predicting the outcome, it wouldn't be quantum theory. you like going around in circles, don't you? weeeeeee!!!!
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:38 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70606 wrote:
The concepts referred to in the word abiogenesis are hardly elusive or difficult to find. The word is not the answer itself. But you know that already.


Hi,

Yes, it is not an answer, it is just another word for the same thing. I could say "the first mover", the Dao, Logos, or whatever. The question remains the same.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:41 am
@richrf,
richrf;70608 wrote:
Hi,

Yes, it is not an answer, it is just another word for the same thing. I could say "the first mover", the Dao, Logos, or whatever. The question remains the same.
Oh come on. Find me a proposed mechanism for God and tell me how to study it. I'm starting to think that you don't believe anything -- your only belief is that anything and everything is meaningless.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:45 am
@TurboLung,
[QUOTE=TurboLung;70607] quantum theory.[/QUOTE]

Hi,

In a world of so much uncertainty there is no much certainty. Amazing isn't it?

http://deepesthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/sun_tai_ji_yin_yang1.gif
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 08:45 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70607 wrote:
i would actually believe that a lipid and nucleotide sat down together over a cup of tea and came to the conclusion that they should join ranks and head down the path of life?
Take a bunch of lipids, throw them together in water, and they form a micelle. Take a bunch of phospholipids, bind them together with a 3-carbon sugar, throw them together in water and you get a lipid bilayer -- ALL cells in nature are made from a phospholipid bilayer. It's basic chemistry.

Quote:
]so, these same people who cannot decide whether or not a virus is alive
That only has to do with the definition of the word "alive", not with the biology of viruses. No one debates that viruses are not complete living cells.

Quote:
a plausible theory, but that is all it is; a theory. from my research, i have come to understand that many theories, which are often touted as rock-solid, are dismissed and dismantled quite easily and replaced by a completely new and fresh theory, only to have that one replaced like a pair of soiled underpants later on
Right, so let's not ever believe anything at all. That's productive.
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 09:10 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70612 wrote:
Take a bunch of lipids, throw them together in water, and they form a micelle. Take a bunch of phospholipids, bind them together with a 3-carbon sugar, throw them together in water and you get a lipid bilayer -- ALL cells in nature are made from a phospholipid bilayer. It's basic chemistry.


if it is so "basic", then, shouldn't we have created a living cell by now?

Quote:
That only has to do with the definition of the word "alive", not with the biology of viruses. No one debates that viruses are not complete living cells.


there is plenty of debate both ways:

Quote:
Anyone with a cold or the flu virus feels as if they are under attack by some organism. But in the scientific community it's still an open-ended question. This is why viruses do not belong to a kingdom of living things. Just because a virus seems alive doesn't mean it is alive. After all, it's not even a single-celled organism.


reference:

2c. Are Viruses Alive? [Beyond Books - Life Science: Part 2]

Quote:
"Viruses straddle the definition of life. They lie somewhere between supra molecular complexes and very simple biological entities. Viruses contain some of the structures and exhibit some of the activities that are common to organic life, but they are missing many of the others. In general, viruses are entirely composed of a single strand of genetic information encased within a protein capsule. Viruses lack most of the internal structure and machinery which characterize 'life', including the biosynthetic machinery that is necessary for reproduction. In order for a virus to replicate it must infect a suitable host cell".


reference:

Are Viruses Alive?

Quote:
Right, so let's not ever believe anything at all. That's productive.


don't look at me, i didn't discover quantum theory...

that said, an example of the unpredicable nature of quantum theory is this: if you try and walk through a solid brick wall, it will be near impossible, however, not impossible. it may take you a trillions years of banging into that wall, but, eventually, given enough time, you will. this is what quantum theory tells us.

again, i used it in the context of a joke. :cool:
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 09:41 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70607 wrote:
sadly, the more i deal with intelligent people, the more i realise that the old axiom is true; that intelligent people rarely posses common sense.

do i really need to be so literal for you? do you really think, in any unbiased way, that i would actually believe that a lipid and nucleotide sat down together over a cup of tea and came to the conclusion that they should join ranks and head down the path of life? do you believe that anyone, would actually consider that there was some type of huge debate raging in earth's primordial soup on whether it was worth the effort of growing some legs and leaving the oceans? perhaps i will post diagrams with my posts so that the chances of you becoming confused is reduced.

:sarcastic:


OK, so if you didn't mean "decide" let me know what you did mean and we'll go from there shall we?

Words - they are symbols with common meaning and should be used as such to facilitate understanding.

I mean, that's just common sense, is it not?

Quote:
so, these same people who cannot decide whether or not a virus is alive are the same people who are impressing on us how life formed from nothing [oh, and of course, the lightning strike]?
Explanations about the formation of life are proffered by those who indulge in some controversy as to what life is, yes.

Biologists overwhelmingly agree on a set criteria for life that viruses do not adhere to. The problem with stretching the definitions of what makes a living thing to account for viruses is that if you do so the criteria can also be applied to things such as crystals.

So there is some picayune wrangling over where to draw the line exactly - but that wrangling need not imply a lack of understanding so much as it does semantics.

For example, I could have a disagreement over someone as to whether or not a particular shade was orange or red - and it need not imply that either of us is incable of understanding the theories behind the seperation of white light into different colours.

Quote:
a plausible theory, but that is all it is; a theory...

In science a theory is the highest order of fact with the exception of mathmatical proof.

The best theories are built on a body of facts and laws, account for them as a whole and make predictions which turn out to be unfalsifiable (at worst) or verifiable when appropriate tests are conceived and carried out.

I'm not big on special relativity, so I can't really comment on what controversies might be coming to light and whether or not it requires tweaking or rebuilding or junking. It is very rare that since the inception of the scientific method around the time of Gallileo that a body of scientific theory accepted as solid by the scientific community has been thoroughly rubbished - I can't think of an example though I'm sure there are.

Quote:
now, why would i misinterprit the video? does the presenter not clearly advise that the theory is not as well supported as evolution?
Yes he did. He did not say it was something that people took poetic license over, which is what you claimed he said, or that was widely disbelieved by those who understood it.
Quote:
Let's take a breather and and think about this for a little while. why would something not as well supported as something else? would it be that other scientists disagree?
Some might do, or are skeptical in an uncommitted way. Some may just not care. There is no better support for any competing theory though.
Quote:
would it be that many scientists do not agree?
I doubt many who have an understanding of the theory would deny it's plausability, though I've not seen polls.
Quote:
would it be that there are huge, missing chunks of evidence?
Not really, it's comprehensively understood how it could have taken place and the chemistry is very thoroughly understood. Filling in the details is a matter of continuing study, of course.
Quote:
would it be, maybe, that this theory is a stab in the dark?
Obviously not.
Quote:
let's think about that sentence again; not as well supported as evolution. if somebody said to you, "you can cross that bridge, but, the belief that its reliability isn't as well supported as the bridge down the road," would you feel comfortable crossing it? am i being literal enough for you?
A minority of scientists taking poetic license in the face of mass protest is a long way from an admittance that the understanding of one theory isn't quite as complete as the other.

If you want to review your words then fine - I agree with your current objection, it's not quite as watertight a body of knowledge as evolution, which is quite thoroughly understood and which is supported by much more evidence.

However, this doesn't make abiogenesis a shot in the dark. 80 years isn't as long as a century - but that doesn't make it a decade.

Quote:
infancy? as in, the theory is just being looked at? are you telling me that you, with all your explanations and intractable viewpoints, actually throw all your faith in some... theory... that is still in diapers? :poke-eye:
I think it's the best thing out there, yes. The currently available evidence does not point to anything other than abiogenesis.

Quote:
no, but maybe we need to find something beyond a primer.
Sure, but if you don't understand the primer, or object to it for rather spurious reasons, what's the point of moving on to chapter 2?

Quote:
primordial soup rave party?
A fair metaphore - why not?


Quote:
are you certain that natural selection would work similar to that of earth's species? before we get too carried away about martians and the empire stikes back let's go back to the primordial soup and primer.
The fundamental laws of evolution by natural selection are:
  • Organisms reproduce themselves.
  • The reproductions aren't perfect - there is always variation.
  • Some varieties are better suited to the environment than others.
Whilst the varieties thrown up by natural selection in alien worlds would be different (because the environments would be different and early forms need not necessarily be analogous to those that arose on earth, let alone later forms).

I can't see how simple organisms could propogate without reproduction, implying the need for some form of self-replicating molecule. Without variation these simple forms could not become more complex or adapt to environmental change.

So if there is alien life out there I think the most plausable explanation for it's existence would be evolution by natural selection.

Quote:
oh, i understand the relatively simple theoryof primordial bottle-feeding soup, but, unlike yourself, i do not believe 100% everything i hear.
I hear all sorts of things I don't believe. I discern what I choose not to believe from what I do choose to believe based on strength of argument (including my own arbitray insights, which tend to carry disproportionate weight in comparison to what I hear - if I'm honest), moderated (I hope) by what seems to best suit the available evidence.

Quote:
that's the point, i can't, because, if i could, the whole idea behind quantum theory would collapse. how could i possibly explain how quantum theory works, when, it is unpredictable? by predicting the outcome, it wouldn't be quantum theory. you like going around in circles, don't you? weeeeeee!!!!
Well as a side project shall we start by agreeing that quantum theory helps explain the behaviour of atomic and subatomic particles? While aspects of the processes involved are very mysterious and random enough pattern applies to make stunning predictions based on the non-random body of theory itself.

---------- Post added at 10:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 AM ----------

TurboLung;70619 wrote:
that said, an example of the unpredicable nature of quantum theory is this: if you try and walk through a solid brick wall, it will be near impossible, however, not impossible. it may take you a trillions years of banging into that wall, but, eventually, given enough time, you will. this is what quantum theory tells us.

Whilst quantum mechanics reveal that atoms are largely made up of empty space it would be a mistake to imagine that it follows that two solid objects could plausably behave as two gaseous objects.

Those with a certain understanding of quantum often imagine that it might be possible for some sort of "cosmic alignment" of the tiny particles in one solid to provide a perfect mirror of those in another - and that a resulting infitesmal shift could result in the two sets passing each other by.

However, this ignores things like:

1) Any such alignment would be over in a fraction of a fraction of a millisecond - no time for a man to pass through a wall.
2) The electromagnetic attraction/repulsion of atoms to/against one another that form chemical bonds that would be disrupted by other atoms sliding between them.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:04 am
@TurboLung,
Turbo --

First, there's a lot more to life than a phospholipid bilayer, but if you'll recall my first reply to you in this thread, over BILLIONS of years in a lab the size of the ocean, the eventual aggregation of all the necessary constituents of cellular life could easily be imagined. The most important of these is the phospholipid bilayer itself, because it is what delimits a cell.

And seeing as the time scale we're talking about is hundreds of millions to billions of years, I wouldn't be so quick to judge the fact that it has not been done in a lab as relevant to your argument. People have taken elemental hydrogen, elemental oxygen, elemental phosphorus, elemental nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, all inorganic chemicals, and gotten organic molecules to form spontaneously under experimental conditions. That's a pretty good preliminary demonstration of the hypothesis.


As for viruses, there is no scientific research into the question of whether they are alive or not. That's not the issue. The issue is that viruses have SOME features of things that we all agree are living -- they have a nucleic acid based genome, they have genes, they reproduce; and they LACK certain features of all other living things -- they can be crystallized, they have no metabolism. They can be "killed" in that under certain circumstances they will cease to function at all, but most people to avoid the live/dead labels call them "inactivated" instead. The question of live or not live only has to do with how we use the word "alive" -- not what a virus actually is.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:18 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70636 wrote:
not what a virus actually is.


As we imagine a virus is?

You are looking at it from the outside. From your perspective.

What bewilders me, is how a group of people are so certain about something they know nothing about, other than what they see and their minds interpret. Heck, humans have been looking at humans for centuries (and even talking to them!) and they still don't understand each other. I don't even understand myself.

Let's keep an open mind on the possibility that we are entirely mistaken about every single thing we think IS. Smile Especially, since it is always changing.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:21 am
@TurboLung,
Again, Rich, much as I enjoy conversing with you here, you honestly have one of the coldest, emptiest, most nihilistic philosophies I've ever seen.

Nothing has meaning. We know nothing. We always might be wrong.

How do you even put food in your mouth? How do you know it's really food?
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:35 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70642 wrote:
Again, Rich, much as I enjoy conversing with you here, you honestly have one of the coldest, emptiest, most nihilistic philosophies I've ever seen.

Nothing has meaning. We know nothing. We always might be wrong.

How do you even put food in your mouth? How do you know it's really food?


Hi,

How do you know who I AM? From a few words? A picture? An idea that I present? Where is the methodology for reaching such a conclusion? A wild guess? Pure speculation? I guess that what life comes down to. Possibilities. Probabilities. Interpretations. Perspectives.

I think it is OK to speculate. We all do. I think it is also OK to recognize that all we are doing is speculating whether we are stock market traders, teachers, home buyers, scientists, philosophers, weatherpersons, or just a plain human being trying to live a life. A begger is speculating that he/she will be able to get enough money that day to live to the next day. And they do it!

Certainty may be something to strive for. Fine. Uncertainty is what we are left with. Fine.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:57 am
@richrf,
richrf;70644 wrote:
How do you know who I AM? From a few words? A picture? An idea that I present? Where is the methodology for reaching such a conclusion? A wild guess?
Nah, just based on the consistently dismissive and nihilistic philosophical ideas you express. You won't let other people, who are having a conversation that you're not even involved in, continue without your interjection that everything we're talking about is probably nonsense and we don't know anything. I don't know much else about you, except that thus far you are the antiphilosopher. You're not for anything, and you're against everything.

But you're right, I hardly know you. You might be joking for all I know. As with everything else in life, I'll stand corrected when the data sufficiently compel me. I'll believe there's no such thing as viruses when the day comes that such data are in. And I'll believe there's more to your philosophy than just contrarianism when those data are in. I've got an open mind, because you seem personally interesting and I'm sure there's more to it than you've let on. I know a lot more about viruses than I do about you anyway. :sarcastic:

richrf wrote:
I think it is OK to speculate. We all do... Certainty may be something to strive for. Fine. Uncertainty is what we are left with. Fine.
Yup. Fine. As the song goes, we see with our eyes and perceive with our mind. We can learn a lot about things by looking diligently enough. And the nice thing about science is that it can rewrite itself. I've been in science and medicine long enough to see many things change.

But if we are paralyzed by the possibility that everything we know might be wrong, then how can we even live?
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 12:00 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;70650 wrote:
But if we are paralyzed by the possibility that everything we know might be wrong, then how can we even live?


Paralyzed by possibilities? That's what makes everything possible? P-o-s-s-b-i-l-i-t-i-e-s.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 12:21 pm
@TurboLung,
The possibilities aren't a problem. The paralysis is. Or at least it's a possibility that it would be... :listening:
 
 

 
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