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By looking at information stored in chemistry, says former NASA fellow, life from non-life can be explained

An outstanding question in the field of evolutionary biology and biochemistry is how the complex, fragile biochemicals that made up life arose and transformed biomaterial in the early Earth from non-living to the earliest "living" organisms.  Some researchers have looked for quasi-alive constructs like prions or viruses for clues.

But a new paper by Paul Davies, an Arizona State University Regents' Professor and director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, and Sara Walker, a NASA post-doctoral fellow at the Beyond Center, published in the journal Interface suggests that researchers are approaching the problem in the wrong way.

They suggest that rather looking at the "hardware" (biochemicals), they look at the "software" (chemically encoding information).  The authors suggest that the defining line between the living and non-living is the ability to manage encoded information, thus the key question is how this information handling arose.

Spark of Life
Could the clue to how life arose lie in how it encodes information?

Comments Prof. Walker, "When we describe biological processes we typically use informational narratives -- cells send out signals, developmental programs are run, coded instructions are read, genomic data are transmitted between generations and so forth.  So identifying life's origin in the way information is processed and managed can open up new avenues for research."

"Chemical based approaches have stalled at a very early stage of chemical complexity -- very far from anything we would consider 'alive.' More seriously they suffer from conceptual shortcomings in that they fail to distinguish between chemistry and biology."

"We propose that the transition from non-life to life is unique and definable," Prof. Davies adds, "We suggest that life may be characterized by its distinctive and active use of information, thus providing a roadmap to identify rigorous criteria for the emergence of life. This is in sharp contrast to a century of thought in which the transition to life has been cast as a problem of chemistry, with the goal of identifying a plausible reaction pathway from chemical mixtures to a living entity."

"To a physicist or chemist life seems like 'magic matter.  It behaves in extraordinary ways that are unmatched in any other complex physical or chemical system. Such lifelike properties include autonomy, adaptability and goal-oriented behavior -- the ability to harness chemical reactions to enact a pre-programmed agenda, rather than being a slave to those reactions."

"We believe the transition in the informational architecture of chemical networks is akin to a phase transition in physics, and we place special emphasis on the top-down information flow in which the system as a whole gains causal purchase over its components.  This approach will reveal how the logical organization of biological replicators differs crucially from trivial replication associated with crystals (non-life). By addressing the causal role of information directly, many of the baffling qualities of life are explained."

Crystals
Crystals are also self-replicating, but they lack the flexibility of life.
[Image Source:  Giovanni Dall'Orto]

If that all sounds a bit abstract, it is.

But basically it seems that the pair are arguing that by looking at differences between the self-replicating information in biochemicals (e.g. RNA) verus self-replication information in inorganic/non-living constructs (e.g. crystals), researchers may be able to retrace the process of how life arose on Earth more easily than if they merely focus on painstakingly mixing chemical constituents, hoping something arises.

Sources: Interface [via Arvix], Arizona State Univ.



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Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/13/2012 6:03:51 PM , Rating: 3
I feel; given what we know about the number of planets that orbit distant stars its arrogant for us to think all life originated here on earth. A more likely scenario i think is that Panspermia brought life here and that it is as old as the universe.




RE: Personally
By othercents on 12/13/2012 6:07:27 PM , Rating: 1
It is all created. Just depends if it was divine intervention or test tubes.


RE: Personally
By Nyu on 12/13/2012 6:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm mostly an atheist, but I think it's not crazy to think the whole evolution was pre-programmed to happen in such a way. Whether there was or wasn't a "divine" intervention, we will always have the questions as to where and how everything began;

Even if we can trace back how life started and planets were created, there's never gonna be a final answer as to where the origin of the origin.. of the origin.. came from. Maybe the Big Bang created the universe, which in turn after a massive scale of events our planet was created and then life began from one chemical to another etc.. but then we would still have to ask what created the matter and put in place the events that triggered the Big Bang, what's "outside" the expanding universe, why the elements behave this or that way and basically every single physics law, it should all come from something, but then we also have to question what that "something" behind it also came from, etc.

So while I'm an atheist, I think it's absurd and un-scientific to completely discard the possibility that life and human evolution was pre-designed to transform into what we are today.


RE: Personally
By Kyuu on 12/13/2012 10:12:32 PM , Rating: 5
It has nothing to do with discarding the possibility due to faith or the lack thereof.

It has to do with the fact that there's no evidence that there is any such design. There is just the notion that "this sh*t is complex, therefore it must be designed". Which is Intelligent Design in a nut-shell.

You should probably learn what science is before calling something "un-scientific". Science doesn't mean entertaining any quack idea that has zero empirical basis just because.


RE: Personally
By Mitch101 on 12/13/2012 10:38:44 PM , Rating: 3
Carbon Based Lifeforms aka Us, Plants, Animals

Ferroplasma Microorganisms - Capable of living in sulfuric acid metabolizes iron-containing rock by the ton, to extract energy for its growth

Life in hydrothermal vents - Biologists always thought life required the Sun's energy, until they found an ecosystem that thrives in complete darkness.

To me if we solve one we can probably solve them all.

There is even thoughts that Silicon based life forms exist but that might just be a StarGate reference.


RE: Personally
By Asetha on 12/14/2012 8:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"this sh*t is complex, therefore it must be designed"


That's not ID. ID is about Shannon information theory as it applies to DNA.


RE: Personally
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/14/2012 10:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. ID centers on two big concepts: irreducible complexity and specific complexity. What you're referring to is specific complexity. Regardless, both of these concepts boil down to "this sh*t is complex, therefore it must be designed."


RE: Personally
By Asetha on 12/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Personally
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/14/2012 12:38:03 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, this entire post of yours was an explanation of why DNA is too complex to occur naturally. In summary, "this sh*t is complex, therefore it must be designed." A different flavor of complex, sure, but still complexity is still the crux of your argument.

Secondly, you do realize that you're arguing for a concept which has been widely discredited by the scientific community, right? Specified complexity and irreducible complexity are two flavors of the same argument: "I can't disprove that this structure came about naturally, but it's so complicated it couldn't have." It's nothing more than a lazy hand-wave, dismissing all actual evidence and preventing any meaningful discussion of the subject at hand. ID as a whole is nothing more than religious zealots masquerading as scientists and constructing smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of a viable theory. Anyone who knows anything about science can see right through it.


RE: Personally
By Asetha on 12/14/2012 12:57:00 PM , Rating: 1
It's not the level of complexity ID post addresses, I thought that was clear in my post. Apologies. It's the type of complexity ID addresses. It's merely an assertion that 'X type of complexity we only see coming from one place - intelligence.'

The thing about the 'scientific community' is that science is not about consensus and never has been, as the whole 'consensus' about AGW proves. And what actual evidence for origin of life abiogenesis is there to dismiss? As far as I'm aware, there is none, but instead arguments about how it developed. No hard evidence, though. Miller and Urey's experiment was not representative of anything at all in earth's history.


RE: Personally
By Paj on 12/17/2012 8:36:09 AM , Rating: 3
There is global consensus about AGW. Unless youre in the USA.


RE: Personally
By gladiatorua on 12/14/2012 12:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
So DNA or RNA? And which proteins are you talking about?
And I'd read at least wikipedia's page about specified complexity. Including criticism.


RE: Personally
By Asetha on 12/14/2012 2:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Never looked at Wiki's page for it. My post made clear both DNA/RNA are specifically complex. And as I didn't list any specific proteins, feel free to assume I meant all. Unless you can provide me an example one that contains non-functional information ;).


RE: Personally
By maugrimtr on 12/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Personally
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 11:19:06 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Evolution + Big Bang + Quantum Physics + Relativity are Scientific Theories that can be proven, observed, and used to predict future outcomes .


The problem is those theories can not completely predict or explain past occurrences.

Whether you start with life and work back to chemistry, or start with chemistry and work forward to life, there is a bridge there that is not explainable.

Simple question that can not be explained chemically is what formed first, the cell membrane or the components of a cell nucleus? Also after single cell organisms formed, what caused them to form into multicell organisms? If a mat of single cells formed into the first multicell organism what made some cells form into skin, others form into livers cells, or nerve cells, or blood cells, ect?

The article talks about the encoding that makes life into life, but where did the encoding of information come from?

As for the Big Bang being a proven theory, there are now respectable physicists that are putting forth other explanations for the beginning of the universe because they can not use the Big Bang to completely and accurately describe the universe as it is. String Theory is being explored because Quantum Theory and Relativity do not co-exist well together, and Dark Matter and Dark Energy are being proposed because Relativity is not completely describing what we observe on galactic scales as far as gravity and mass are concerned. To place total confidence that current scientific theories accurately explain what the universe is may not be the best path to follow. Who is to say that in a thousand years scientist will not look back at what we believe now and laugh because our current theories will seem as silly compared to what they know as what science one thousand years ago seems to us now? If a discovery is made tomorrow that invalidates all of Relativity or Quantum theory I promise you that scientists will call that person an idiot just as Galileo and Copernicus were ridiculed when talking about a sun centered solar system. In 1750 the first thoughts that the Andromeda Galaxy was a separate galaxy was put forth and it was not until the 1920's that it became accepted as fact.

So many people think we now know 99% of the truth of how the universe works and was formed, I believe it is more like we know and understand about 1% of the truth of how the universe works and was formed.


RE: Personally
By gladiatorua on 12/14/2012 11:45:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Simple question that can not be explained chemically is what formed first, the cell membrane or the components of a cell nucleus?
Cell membrane obviously. You know about eukariotes and prokariotes right? Prokariote does not have nucleus. Bacteria and archea are prokariotes.
quote:
Also after single cell organisms formed, what caused them to form into multicell organisms?
The fact they could AND it was beneficial to them? Have you ever heard about colonial organisms?
quote:
If a mat of single cells formed into the first multicell organism what made some cells form into skin, others form into livers cells, or nerve cells, or blood cells, ect?
First multicellular organisms didn't have blood, skin, liver or nervous system. The need to differentiate cells came much later. It's not like sexual reproduction with all the complex stuff was a thing from the beginning.
quote:
The article talks about the encoding that makes life into life, but where did the encoding of information come from?
Previous generations.
quote:
So many people think we now know 99% of the truth of how the universe works and was formed, I believe it is more like we know and understand about 1% of the truth of how the universe works and was formed.
Funnily enough, only {insert scripture of your choice}-humpers think they know 99% because it's all written in the {insert scripture of your choice}.
Good scientist know the limits of their knowledge. That's what makes them good and that's how they know where to push to expand those limits.


RE: Personally
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 1:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The need to differentiate cells came much later.


What caused organisms to differentiate cells into the types needed? Did the first organism to have a bone begin with having just a single mutated bone cell that somehow didn't cause it to die and things just went from there? If it went from there, how did it come about to have multiple bones with joints instead of just one long bone?

quote:
Cell membrane obviously. You know about eukariotes and prokariotes right? Prokariote does not have nucleus. Bacteria and archea are prokariotes.


So there are organisms which only have a cell membrane with nothing inside that makes it alive? Sorry I am a chemist not a biologist, I just know that from a chemical standpoint that the structures of that complexity do not happen easily if at all.

quote:
Previous generations.


What gave encoding into the original generation?


RE: Personally
By gladiatorua on 12/16/2012 12:23:35 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
What caused organisms to differentiate cells into the types needed?
Once scientists figure out to some degree of certainty, how multicellular organisms evolved for each separate case(plants, animals etc) the matter might become clearer. For now there are hypotheses, like colonial organisms or symbiosis between two or more single-celled organisms or weired Siamese twins of single-celled organism etc. What I meant was, complex sell "predetermination" came much later, when organisms started to reproduce sexually from two fused cells growing into full organisms. Simpler organisms just split the part of their body with full array of cells needed for new organism, and those cells multiplied.
quote:
Did the first organism to have a bone begin with having just a single mutated bone cell that somehow didn't cause it to die and things just went from there? If it went from there, how did it come about to have multiple bones with joints instead of just one long bone?
First organisms didn't have bones. Look up chordates and their relationship to vertebrates.
The problem with pre-bone organisms is that they didn't have enough hard tissue to leave to fossilise.
quote:
So there are organisms which only have a cell membrane with nothing inside that makes it alive? Sorry I am a chemist not a biologist, I just know that from a chemical standpoint that the structures of that complexity do not happen easily if at all.
No. The don't have nucleus. They are structured slightly differently. Look up prokaryote.
quote:
What gave encoding into the original generation?
Original polypeptide of random amino-acids? Look at evolutionofdna.com


RE: Personally
By lilhammer10 on 12/14/2012 3:17:31 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, we all understand how Empirical Evidence worshipers like you and "good" scientists view the world. You stare at the world around you and think "Holy cr@p! I wonder how all of these bazillions of atoms and the elements they compose magically came together in a perfect mix and evolved over millions of years, after millions of chance mutations to form something so complex!" While I shout "Hey dumb@ss! It's a Samsung and it dries your clothes!"

You strain to view the microscopic world under glass to build your little, un-provable theories and wet dreams you call science that you change every other day to suit the scenario. You like to pleasure yourself to the sound of your own voice and thoughts while every fiber of your very being just wants to vomit you out of itself if it only could. You are the definition of retarded. You see the world around you and witness the truth but couldn't grasp it if your life depended on it. Your prefer snake-oil to the simple truth and the stench of treacherous lies compared to honesty.

Oh yes, and I get that you simply like to inflame others.


RE: Personally
By Asetha on 12/15/2012 1:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Previous generations.


Question begging.


RE: Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/14/2012 11:31:10 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Evolution + Big Bang + Quantum Physics + Relativity are Scientific Theories that can be proven, observed, and used to predict future outcomes.


Its interesting to me that such concrete firm beliefs in theory are not considered or describe as religion in our society.


RE: Personally
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 5:55:27 PM , Rating: 1
It takes faith to believe in a theory or rather what a theory postulates such as the origin of the universe, yet those who hold such things as ultimate truth also tend to deny that they have any faith at all.


RE: Personally
By ingwe on 12/14/2012 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:

Evolution + Big Bang + Quantum Physics + Relativity are Scientific Theories that can be proven, observed, and used to predict future outcomes.

Intelligent Design is a Belief. It explains nothing. It predicts nothing. It can't be proven. It can't even be observed (complexity exists but its existence means nothing by itself!). It has no mathematical laws or principles. It is simply not science.

By comparison, we know for a fact that Evolution occurred. You can walk into any natural history museum and touch fossils. We can even see it occur in real time.

As Stephen Hawking said, and was immediately damned for, the Universe does not need God. It's a self regulating, self sustaining bubble of space and energy. Anything beyond our Universe is meaningless because we could never observe it.


I am not quite sure where you got some of these ideas. Science is about two key ingredients: observation and theory. What you have listed, Evolution, The Big Bang, and Relativity are (as you correctly stated) theories. Anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background, gravitational lensing, and red shifting are examples of observables. Understanding this is important because you CANNOT PROVE a theory. You can only disprove a theory. A theory is our best idea of how observations fit together. Observations are used to corroborate or invalidate theories. This is the very basis of science. To say that we know theories are true is totally antithetical to science. Science talks not in definites, but in likelihoods.

What I said above is what I believe the general consensus of the scientific community is. The following is more personal opinion: Theories without any observables are practically religion. You can believe them or not based on what you think is logical. Yes, String Theory has a lot of beautiful math, if it fails to make predictions that are observable it should not be generally accepted. People who do so are making a decision based purely on what they feel is correct and want to believe, hence my comparison with religion. In a related vein, people can think whatever they want to about the origin of things. We can observe nothing from before the surface of last scattering (~380,000 yrs after the big bang by estimates, but that is just a theory). As such we can make almost no observations about anything before then and thus anything before that is mostly conjecture and is therefore mostly outside of the realm of science. Instead it is a question for philosophy and religion. Again this is only my opinion.

A note of qualification: I have a degree in Astrophysics for whatever that means here. Probably not much...


RE: Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/14/2012 3:48:43 PM , Rating: 1
Because of the human condition your observations are unique to you. You can't "prove" others observations are the same as yours since you can't perceive through others senses. Sure you can get consensus from others that their observation are similar however again they are a collection of unique observations rather than single proof. Otherwise 20 respected people on an acid trip could prove purple elephants are real.On that same note you cannot disprove anyone's individual observations for the same reasons above.


RE: Personally
By Gondor on 12/14/2012 8:45:45 AM , Rating: 4
Unless something drastically changes (in our ability to access information above the speed of light in vacuum, c) all of this is pretty much irrelevant - there's only "so far" you can go back with the origin of origin of ....origin of universe, before it stops making any sense whatsoever and/or even moves outside "our" universe, the limit of which we are unable to pass, and which is moving away at speed of c.

So for what it's worth, our universe could have been pre-programmed, however if programmer is sitting outside the universe we'll never be able to meet him so it makes absolutely no sense to waste time contemplating what's beyond the edge - let's focus on stuff inside first.

All this being said, I firmly believe the universe we're residing in is just a coincidence; it could easily have turned out some other way (with no humans on some obscure planet trying to come up with a witty explanation of its existence). I wouldn't find it too difficult to believe it has gone through the bang-expansion-contraction-boom cycle numerous times already, with races far smarter and species much dumber and worlds much more barren or thriving in its past cycles.


RE: Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/14/2012 11:56:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So for what it's worth, our universe could have been pre-programmed, however if programmer is sitting outside the universe we'll never be able to meet him so it makes absolutely no sense to waste time contemplating what's beyond the edge - let's focus on stuff inside first.


That's all fine and nice but first we need to ask ourselves just what are we trying to explain and to what ends? Personally after having lived half my life already i haven't seen any tangible benefits from such knowledge; don't get me wrong its a cool topic but it ultimately its not empowering knowledge; man has done just fine as a species without it.


RE: Personally
By snakeInTheGrass on 12/17/2012 12:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
That there are cycles is possible, though coincidence? Hmmm... Even to have coincidence...

What I really find troubling is that it can't exist conceptually, at least the way our understanding of things goes. I mean, whether there is an "eternal" universe, multiverses, cycles, or whatever - how? Just to have a framework within which anything can even happen at all... WTF?

(And I dropped some commentary on the 'let's add another layer to something we can't understand' nature of putting a deity as a pat answer instead... though I guess it's more comforting to many than looking at the world and concluding that its very existence is disturbing. Doesn't explain how there can be a deity either... ;) )

Our meat processing units may just not be up to the task. But hey, maybe the AI's that will eventually destroy us will be able to figure it out. ;)


RE: Personally
By mlambert890 on 12/15/2012 12:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you repeatedly claim to be an atheist and then provide clear proof that you're not in what you say? Do you *want* to be an atheist or something?

By definition feeling that there *must* be a "first cause uncaused" is the antithesis of what an atheist is. A (not) theist (believer in "god") A "first cause uncaused" is god by another name.

At least call yourself an agnostic or something (one who just rejects traditional organized religion)

You're *not* an atheist.

And there is nothing, btw, "unscientific" about what you describe. Science is methodical observation followed by theory and testing. There is no "guessing" about what "might be". There is observation. There is theory. There is testing. Science completely allows for the concept that there are simply things that just "are". Like perhaps the fundamental particles that allow for the creation of matter simply always just "have been". Science would be ok with this if there were no observable reason to doubt it and the *model worked*

It is *faith* and human emotion that isnt ok with this. That *needs* a "but WHO or WHAT created THAT!?" type question answered. If anything is "unscientific" it is asking questions like that in the absence of an observed reason to.

An example is that science has sought a description for the "component parts" of matter diving down to subatomic particles and then elementary particles, but if it seems that elementary particles are "as small as it gets", and there is nothing "not working" in the model or being observed that suggests *smaller* component particles, then elementary particles would be considered foundational. It's "faith based" thinking to say "but there's GOTTA be SOMETHING smaller!"


RE: Personally
By JediJeb on 12/16/2012 10:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Science completely allows for the concept that there are simply things that just "are". Like perhaps the fundamental particles that allow for the creation of matter simply always just "have been".


But without faith in the scientific process you would have to question these things. Religion or Science, both require faith at some point, at least until everything can be completely explained, but then I guess you would still have to have faith that the explanation was true.


RE: Personally
By tng on 12/17/2012 1:38:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...elementary particles would be considered foundational. It's "faith based" thinking to say "but there's GOTTA be SOMETHING smaller!"
No it is not "Faith" based thinking. The drive to find out more about such things is the underpinnings for scientific study. When everybody says that we know all there is to know about a certain subject, it is almost a duty of science to find more!

If everybody operated as you describe we would still be in the dark ages...


RE: Personally
By tng on 12/17/2012 12:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...I think it's not crazy to think the whole evolution was pre-programmed to happen... Maybe the Big Bang created the universe...
So somewhere out there there is a scientist bent over a bunch of test samples, one of those samples contains our universe and he is involved in a study of how life begins....


RE: Personally
By gladiatorua on 12/13/2012 8:40:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I feel; given what we know about the number of planets that orbit distant stars its arrogant for us to think all life originated here on earth.
Yes.
quote:
A more likely scenario i think is that Panspermia brought life here and that it is as old as the universe.
No.
Sure, with universe this big, it would be unwise to assume that life is unique to Earth. But to assume that life developed so close to Earth or safely traveled through HUGE distances through space and landed into appropriate environment? Very unlikely.


RE: Personally
By Dr of crap on 12/14/2012 8:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
You Do realize that was not meant to be taken as a truth?
Right?


RE: Personally
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/14/2012 10:26:53 AM , Rating: 2
Please explain. The OP appeared serious to me...


RE: Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/14/2012 11:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Your clues are terms like "i feel" and "i think" these are indicators of opinion that i purposefully placed in my statement.


RE: Personally
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/14/2012 12:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
"I feel" and "I think" indicate that the post is your opinion. They do not indicate that you aren't being serious. There are plenty of people who believe something similar to what you wrote, and crazier things have been written on here before. The only reasonable assumption, without a /sarcasm, was that you were serious.


RE: Personally
By Ammohunt on 12/14/2012 3:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
Uh..I am being serious panispermia its very plausible in my mind more plausible then all life originated on earth. When they discover microbial life on Mars it will just add to the idea.


RE: Personally
By nafhan on 12/14/2012 1:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you were being serious as well... :)


RE: Personally
By hartleyb on 12/14/2012 9:45:19 AM , Rating: 3
Personally I love these arguments becuase there is not any science or theology that answers all the questions of the orgin of life and the universe. Everytime one side thinks they have it figured out, someone, or something, comes along and changes they way we view these issues. Personnaly I think science needs to continue to work this issue as well as theology needs be open to some of the scientific evidence presented. Until the time we solve this, we need to respect both sides of the issue becuase if we don't all we do is shut down collaboration, thought, and learning on both sides.


RE: Personally
By nafhan on 12/14/2012 1:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it arrogant to believe that life arose independently on earth? Given the information that we have, it's clearly the most likely scenario. Also, it's not arrogant because it's likely been repeated countless times across time and space.

Think about your scenario for a minute. You've got "life" starting in just one place and then somehow spreading out across vast interstellar distances while remaining reproductively viable in some way and then ending up in a place that's similar enough to where it started that it can thrive??? Does that really seem more likely than life appearing independently in places that are conducive to it? Not to me...

Plus, there's no evidence at all regarding the likelihood of your scenario. Until there is, I'll stick with "life, as we know it, started here."


RE: Personally
By km9v on 12/17/2012 9:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
It is also arrogant to think humans are capable of fully understanding how life began. We can't even figure out how to cure the common cold. How can we possibly expect to figure out & understand the origin of life itself?


You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By retrospooty on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By kleinma on 12/13/2012 6:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
How is that even possible when we all know the earth is only 6000 years old?


By MechanicalTechie on 12/13/2012 6:49:18 PM , Rating: 3
Hey don't forget to be eternally thankful for Noah and his Ark(aka the Tardis).. quite a trick to squeeze in all 8.5million or so species :P

I mean just imagine the plumbing required for such a feat!!


RE: You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By ClownPuncher on 12/13/2012 7:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Tardis is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside.


By MechanicalTechie on 12/13/2012 7:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
That's right... just like Noahs ark :)


RE: You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By mstrmac on 12/14/12, Rating: -1
By MechanicalTechie on 12/14/2012 5:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
HAHA I see.. I'm the stupid one for non believing in your story-tale book.. ohh yes how could i be sooooooooooo stupid!!


By retrospooty on 12/14/2012 8:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
"The bible proclaims the earth to be millions of years old. The flood was local, the two of every flesh were local and Noah, who's family's pedigree or dna were pure, did not mix with those fallen ones from the heavens that were destroyed in that flood of Genesis 6."

Can you please post where to find that info, in what section does it say any of that, especially the millions of years old part.

That is the good ting about that book, its all #'d and easy to fact check in that manor ;)


RE: You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By elderwilson on 12/14/2012 10:32:57 AM , Rating: 1
The fact that you believe that Noah took 2 of every animal shows that you haven't actually read the Old Testament. Anyone who has really read it knows what I mean.

What is really troubling to me is the prevalence of archaic blind hollow bible worship. People cling to the bible without having ever read it and not even knowing what it is. When confronted with a passage they didn’t know was there and don’t agree with, they suddenly aren’t such ardent believers.

I have read and studied all the independent works complied in the “bible”, and I have a degree in molecular biology. Where science and religion disagree one, or both is wrong.


By Jeffk464 on 12/14/2012 11:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you can really grow up in our culture without knowing at least the basics of the bible.


By Jeffk464 on 12/14/2012 11:11:22 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The bible proclaims the earth to be millions of years old.


Yeah, but the earth is billions of years old.


RE: You do this on purpose dont you Jason?
By JediJeb on 12/14/2012 1:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hey don't forget to be eternally thankful for Noah and his Ark(aka the Tardis).. quite a trick to squeeze in all 8.5million or so species :P


If evolution works then he would not have needed to place all 8.5 million species into the ark, they could have simply evolved later from what he did put on there.

If you subtract the species of microorganisms, aquatic organisms and anything else that could survive a flood, then how many are left over to need to be protected on the ark? Really only the large mammals and reptiles and flightless large birds would need protection, everything else could easily survive on floating debris or by swimming.


By gladiatorua on 12/18/2012 12:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If evolution works then he would not have needed to place all 8.5 million species into the ark, they could have simply evolved later from what he did put on there.
Yeah, because inbreeding really helps the species. Cheetahs went through population bottleneck 10000 years ago and are still suffering the consequences.
quote:
If you subtract the species of microorganisms, aquatic organisms and anything else that could survive a flood, then how many are left over to need to be protected on the ark?
Funny thing is, most of aquatic organisms and microorganisms wouldn't have survived the flood because they like their water composition consistent. Salt water animals don't like fresh water and vice versa.
quote:
everything else could easily survive on floating debris or by swimming.
Without food and in cold water. Right.


By Schadenfroh on 12/13/2012 6:56:00 PM , Rating: 1
Same reason he posts Android versus Apple articles... to get reason (Android users) to fight blind faith (Apple users) in the comments.


trees
By stilltrying on 12/13/2012 7:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
What did trees/plants evolve from? Just curious never heard an evolution theory on plant life.




RE: trees
By ClownPuncher on 12/13/2012 7:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ooze.


RE: trees
By gladiatorua on 12/13/2012 8:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
Single-celled organisms. Possibly those that enabled bigger oxygen-dependant life forms by enriching the atmosphere with oxygen with photosynthesis.
Funny how most of current Earth life is dependant on oxygen-rich atmosphere which was "created" by "life" itself.


RE: trees
By hiscross on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: trees
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/14/2012 10:30:16 AM , Rating: 3
No, I did.

Zeus


RE: trees
By Iketh on 12/14/2012 11:26:49 AM , Rating: 2
And you created by the graces of me.

YHWH


Publish or Perish?
By ShieTar on 12/14/2012 4:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
So, maybe I am missing something, or maybe the article is misinterpreting the published paper, but does it really just say "We should look at the problem in a different way, then we should be able to solve it!"?

Why did the authors not just heed their own advice, do the looking part, solve the problem, and then publish that solution?




RE: Publish or Perish?
By PaFromFL on 12/14/2012 9:02:09 AM , Rating: 2
The "researcher" merely "discovered" that information theory can be used to describe almost any statistical process (e.g. statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, cosmology). The terminology is different but the underlying math is the same. A genuine breakthrough occurs only when the hypothesized model matches the physical system better than previous models.

Our theories of the universe reflect the fact that we have five limited senses, live in a very small corner of universe, and have brains that evolved to a level where we can throw objects to knock fruit out of tall trees, discourage predators, and kill prey.


RE: Publish or Perish?
By gladiatorua on 12/14/2012 9:19:04 AM , Rating: 2
It's exactly what the authors said. And it's not even new approach.
It should be obvious that life didn't randomly appeared and then learned to reproduce. First came mechanisms to copy the simple information, and then that information developed to the point it could be called "life".
Look at evolutionofdna.com . I don't know how legit the info is, but I think that this kind of approach is valid. And the site is more than five years old.


How about this...
By elderwilson on 12/14/2012 10:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
So here is the theory I tried to defend (to no avail) in college. At some future time mankind will develop the technology to travel back in time. One brave scientist fed up with the debate of how life began will travel back some 4 billion years to take a sample of Earth’s primordial ocean. Although brave, this scientist is not very bright and he forgets to sterilize his equipment and unwittingly inoculates the barren world with several species of bacteria. Besides the temporal paradox and the fact that time travel is an almost certain impossibility my theory is sound.




A new perspective is refreshing...
By Cannyone on 12/13/2012 9:14:06 PM , Rating: 1
I find it refreshing to see that at least some people are capable of looking at some of these topics from a different perspective. So often it seems that academics are even more ideological than the religious zealots are... And I just don't like being treated like I'm stupid.




Pathetic Evolution
By heerohawwah on 12/14/12, Rating: -1
RE: Pathetic Evolution
By unsprung on 12/14/2012 4:13:48 AM , Rating: 5
7.5/10 . Best troll post I've seen today at least.

At least I hope so. If not, we're listening with open ears for you to "explain why is evolution impossible scientifically clear as day and rock solid as the ground everyone stands on"


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By retrospooty on 12/14/2012 9:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
This is the guy who in 1491 could have "proved" the world is flat using obviously flawed logic.

Fortunately the majority of the world has moved beyond such ignorance.

Heerohawah, if you want to say god created the universe and therefore the laws of it that allowed evolution to happen you could make that case because there is no proof it didnt happen. It's been proven time and time again. Its been proven in the 100's of thousands of fossils found all over the earth, its been proven in our DNA, its been proven via geological evidence as well as archaeological evidence. It has also been witnessed as strains of germs develop resistances antibiotics. It is also proven in human skin color. The difference between black and white people is simply that white people skins lightened as they moved to less sunny environments to allow the body to get more vitamin D. The UV rays of the sun kill it and dark skin is a mutation to protect it. Skin color evolved to maintain the correct levels. There is no debate that evolution happened. We may not know how it started, and/or who started it or possibly created the laws of the universe that enabled it but we know it happened.

If you want to have a religious debate, it can be said that a god or whatever created the universe and the laws of physics that allowed evolution to happen. You could even debate that a god created evolution with humans in mind as the end result, but you CANNOT say that evolution didnt happen... It is absolutely 100% proven. IF you think it isnt you need to go back to school, because your bible college has lied to you and given you false talking points to try and discredit proven science.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By heerohawwah on 12/14/2012 6:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid retrospooty and unsprung, you two have no idea what you're talking about. (retrospooty, you did try but your 'science' is acutally over 100 years old, and the evidence you refer to doesn't actually exist, you are actually the one who believes a lie)
I will explain very simply why evolution is impossible and give you a couple tech related examples. First and foremost we need to go back to basics...
We know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a scientific fact. Now this fact, includes un-avoidable losses, things like friction, heat/energy loss. Everything in the existence operates at a loss, and this is what science describes in the Laws of Thermodynamics. These principles also apply directly to systems of information, complexity, language, data, etc...Take a book for example and its contents, a very basic paper and ink, a one dimensional data storage device. A book cannot write itself and cannot come into being by chance or by any random means. It would be un-scientific to say it could because that would violate the laws of thermodynamics. The SETI project is another example, searching space for signs of intelligence by looking for radiation signals that contain information or intelligent data. The entire premise of the project rests on the correct assumption; that random background radiation cannot and will not produce radiation signals which contain information. (due to the laws of thermodynamics) Ironically evolutionists claim the exact opposite that random chaos can create life, and literally move from a state of low energy to high energy (or complexity). This has no scientific basis. Another example, Folding@Home, protein folding, an extraordinarily complicated process. The simplest single cell organism alive requires thousands of proteins to live. An average protein molecule has around 400 amino acids and must be folded correctly or it will not serve its purpose. This again is prevented by the laws of thermodynamics...and on top of it are other issues like the fact the amino acids are not attracted to one another. Have you ever done the math to see what the statistical odds are of a single protein being formed by random chance? If we attempt to calculate the probability of an average-sized protein consisting of 400 amino acids being selected only from left-handed amino acids, we come up with a probability of 1 in 2^400, or 10^120. Just for a comparison, the number of electrons in the universe is estimated at 10^79, which although vast, is a much smaller number. 1 divided by a number so vast, is effectively ZERO. And that's just for 1 single protein not thousands and ignoring all the other complex devices that are needed as well.
Retrospooty, I will say that your remarks are actually very ignorant and prejudice, and shows a lack of knowledge and understanding. You completely ignore facts and seem to thinks that evolution is somehow immune to the laws of physics. What you are actually saying is that you have blind faith, and any person who is authentic, honest and open about religion will tell you that. Evolution simply did not happen because there is no scientific way for it to happen. You mentioned fossils, I'm afraid you've been lied to, no fossils exist which support evolution, a blatant lie by evolutionists which they've even admitted too. Even the infamous 'Lucy' is know if be made up of over a dozen different animals. Geology again nothing, and DNA well...DNA is a 3 dimensional data storage medium, its encrypted, has error checking and redundancy, it is a technological marvel, DNA is literally the information storage and manufacturing facility needed for keep life going. Take the protein math and apply it to DNA, the system the creates the proteins, what is 1 divided by infinity? You also mention mutations, I'm sorry mutations are a Destruction of DNA not creation, this is a scientific fact and has been for decades... Again also this comes right back to the laws of thermodynamics. Corruption and chaos do not create systems of intelligence, complexity. Evolutionists have created a huge construct, filled with tons of pictures, charts, tree diagrams, all designed to fit their religious beliefs. It's not science and there is no proof, let alone evidence, just lies, deceit and a whole shit load of manipulation. At the end of the day, their whole system comes crashing down whenever simple and straight forward rational thought and scientific methods are applied.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By unsprung on 12/14/2012 8:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you some credit; there are some real actual science facts in your post. Unfortunately sticking together some loosely related facts and calling it fact by extension it is no way scientific.

Of course, I have as much chance of convincing you otherwise as you do me, specially a probability of 1 in 10^120.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By retrospooty on 12/14/2012 9:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
You are seriously delusional. Please don't breed.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By heerohawwah on 12/16/2012 2:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid evolutionists already tried that, its called Eugenics. In the 1920s and 1930 American doctors and nurses sterlized over 50,000 people for being 'less evolved' than other people. What made them less evolved? They were people with visable disabilties, deaf or mute, or just plain poor. Becuase of course poor people wouldn't be poor if they were more evolved. The Nazi's took this evolutionary thinking to the next level... It appears as though you are infact one of them.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By retrospooty on 12/16/2012 6:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
this is your second ridiculous rant of a post and its also completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.I do not I stand for anything like that, I just don't want you to bread because you're a complete idiot and you would undoubtably teach your kids to be complete idiots and to believe the ridiculous nonsense you posted here.

Like I said the debate is over, and the intellectual side won it. You can live in denial all you want but evolution happened, the world is not flat and it is not the center of the universe. you can say God created evolution and you might even be right, but you can't say it didn't happen.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By elderwilson on 12/15/2012 8:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
It’s nice that you at least try to use some science in your explanation, but your grasp of physics and biochemistry is tenuous at best. Your basic description of entropy is technically correct, but you are really reaching when you try to apply it to biological systems. You conveniently ignore the fact that Earth is orbiting a massive fusion reactor that has been providing energy for over 4 billion years. Eventually thermodynamics predicts the “Heat Death” of the universe, but that is trillions of years away and as long as there are concentrations of energy in stars life will most likely exist.

Your math concerning protein folding is nice, but also pointless. Most proteins form their tertiary structure on their own, thanks to your friend thermodynamics. As the polypeptide exits the ribosome, intermolecular forces immediately begin to shape the protein. Polypeptides achieve the lowest energy state possible in the given conditions. If the lowest energy state is nonfunctional then the gene that codes the protein will be at a disadvantage and be selected against. Primitive, even pre-cellular life was most likely RNA based which consisted of small, self-replicating molecules. Peptide chains evolved later as they provided advantages to systems that developed them. What works best is what propagates.
From experience I will safely assume that the core of you objection to evolution is based in religion. You cling to the fallacy that evolution and faith are at odds and mutually exclusive. Science doesn't undermine faith (unless the faith is weak to begin with), for the open-minded it reaffirms it.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By heerohawwah on 12/16/2012 3:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just some brief comments regarding yours, simply adding energy/heat like the sun to the earth may indeed 'add' energy to the system but can not increase its complexity. Plants are highly complex organisms which convert sun light into chemical energy, highly efficent but not nearly 100%. (thermodynamics) So the question we end up at is, which came first, the plant or the chemical energy? The plant would have to exist first, fully complete and fully functional. Even the simplest living cell, living bascially on solar power, needs to have all the 'tech' in place to not only convert energy into different and usable forms, but also have the tech to consume it.
Also my math is straight forward and conclusive, protiens don't form on their own. They are put together by living organisms. Again, which came first?

You will find a good article regarding RNA here.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?cat...


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By gladiatorua on 12/15/2012 9:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a scientific fact.
No it's not. It's Newton's third law of motion.
quote:
Now this fact, includes un-avoidable losses, things like friction, heat/energy loss.
No, it doesn't.
This is the third law:
quote:
When a first body exerts a force F1 on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force F2 = -F1 on the first body. This means that F1 and F2 are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

That's it.
quote:
Everything in the existence operates at a loss, and this is what science describes in the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Huh? Are you talking about Newtons mechanics or Thermodynamics? And no, that's not what the Laws of thermodynamics describe. 0th law defines temperature; 1st law is the law of conservation; 2nd law - the entropy of any isolated system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases; and the 3rd law states that entropy of a perfect crystal(a system with a temperature of absolute zero) is zero.
So what are you talking about? I assume you mean the second law. But it only works for ISOLATED systems.
quote:
These principles also apply directly to systems of information, complexity, language, data, etc...
Huh? How?
quote:
Take a book for example and its contents, a very basic paper and ink, a one dimensional data storage device. A book cannot write itself and cannot come into being by chance or by any random means. It would be un-scientific to say it could because that would violate the laws of thermodynamics.
This is a bunch of un-scientific BS that has nothing to do with laws of thermodynamics.
quote:
The SETI project is another example, searching space for signs of intelligence by looking for radiation signals that contain information or intelligent data. The entire premise of the project rests on the correct assumption; that random background radiation cannot and will not produce radiation signals which contain information.
As long as there is someone to perceive them as a pattern, it can contain "information".
quote:
Ironically evolutionists claim the exact opposite that random chaos can create life, and literally move from a state of low energy to high energy (or complexity).
No they don't. No random chaos. And what does it have to do with low or high energy?
quote:
If we attempt to calculate the probability of an average-sized protein consisting of 400 amino acids being selected only from left-handed amino acids, we come up with a probability of 1 in 2^400, or 10^120. Just for a comparison, the number of electrons in the universe is estimated at 10^79, which although vast, is a much smaller number.
And 10^300 is the number of outcomes if you flip a coin 1000 times. So?
quote:
Even the infamous 'Lucy' is know if be made up of over a dozen different animals.
How is Lucy infamous?

So, your wall of text mostly contains BS. Or idiotic conclusions. In our age of freely distributed information, ignorance is not an excuse.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By retrospooty on 12/15/2012 3:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
LOL...

I know, the guy dismisses mountains of evidence from 4 different scientific disciplines that all colloborate with each other that proves evolution happened. Not to mention every scientist on the planet. All dismissed over a ridiculous Christian pre-scripted talking point fabricated to meet their own agenda. Yes, the worlds scientists are all wrong and all that evidence is faked. LOL. Its a global conspiracy going back 100's of years involving 100's of 1000's of scientists all over the planet. LOL.

I was raised Christian, my name is Chris, my mother and grandmother are extremely into the whole Jesus thing, Grandma is as evangelical as Tebow (and then some) and even they know evolution happened... The religious "debate" is that if intelligent design vs. purely organic evolution. Anyone that thinks that evolution didnt happen is a complete uneducated moron. The debate is over and its been over a long time. He may as well be arguing that the world is flat and that the Earth is the center of the universe. Its that ridiculous at this point.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/16/2012 10:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Evolution simply did not happen because there is no scientific way for it to happen.
Yes it did... and it's still happening.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By tng on 12/17/2012 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and it's still happening.
He should know about evolution intimately, since it probably has been pretty hard for him to get a date and hence, promote his genes.


RE: Pathetic Evolution
By Magnus909 on 12/17/2012 10:32:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If we attempt to calculate the probability of an average-sized protein consisting of 400 amino acids being selected only from left-handed amino acids, we come up with a probability of 1 in 2^400, or 10^120. Just for a comparison, the number of electrons in the universe is estimated at 10^79, which although vast, is a much smaller number. 1 divided by a number so vast, is effectively ZERO. And that's just for 1 single protein not thousands and ignoring all the other complex devices that are needed as well.


This is assuming that everything is happening at once, like in intelligent design.
In evolution this happens in small steps, where each step takes is further one bit and it wouldn't be like combining 400 different amino acids.

You could just as well take the example further with a human and how the individual amino acids combine to form a human.
Hell, just can just take it further by trying to combine atoms to make a human being. After all in the beginning there were only some basic atoms and no molecules in the early universe. (and even further back just hydrogene and before that just plasma and.....)

You just take an arbitrary point to serve as an example, making the wrong assumption that all the parts have to be combined at the same point in time, getting the extremely high number for the number of permutations.


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