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Author Topic:   Panspermia
extremophile
Member (Idle past 3211 days)
Posts: 53
Joined: 08-23-2003


Message 1 of 26 (76533)
01-04-2004 7:39 PM


Can panspermia be considered a type of creationist, ID, or it fit better in its own category? (I think that's the last choice, but sometimes everything is messed up).

Here's a site which defends panspermia: http://www.panspermia.org/

- That's not propaganda! I'm not defending it at all. I just thought that sometimes is a bit tiring to refute creationisms again and again, so maybe we could refute a little bit of some other "opponent", even if there's no one here to defend it. Just to vary a little bit.


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NosyNed
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Posts: 8802
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 2 of 26 (76537)
01-04-2004 7:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by extremophile
01-04-2004 7:39 PM


Panspermia
I'd say it is none of the above. It is another possibility for how life arose on earth. It is interesting as an idea in it's own right but it's going to be tough to find any evidence in the short term. (ignoring what's on Mars as of now).

It would be ID if someone said that intelligence brought life to earth. It would be creationist is someone said that God created life elsewhere (the garden of Eden is on another planet? ). Otherwise it is just an idea.


Common sense isn't
This message is a reply to:
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Eta_Carinae
Member (Idle past 1991 days)
Posts: 547
From: US
Joined: 11-15-2003


Message 3 of 26 (76550)
01-04-2004 9:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by extremophile
01-04-2004 7:39 PM


Kind of ironic.

I am working on a Panspermia paper right now - literally today!


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Itachi Uchiha
Member (Idle past 3231 days)
Posts: 272
From: mayaguez, Puerto RIco
Joined: 06-21-2003


Message 4 of 26 (76571)
01-05-2004 12:06 AM


Never heard of this one before. It would be nice to have a follower of this theory here. It would make the the debates even hotter i guess
    
Adminnemooseus
Director
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Message 5 of 26 (76673)
01-05-2004 3:58 PM


Thread moved here from the Miscellaneous Topics in Creation/Evolution forum.
    
extremophile
Member (Idle past 3211 days)
Posts: 53
Joined: 08-23-2003


Message 6 of 26 (76887)
01-06-2004 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by NosyNed
01-04-2004 7:50 PM


Re: Panspermia
There are several types of panspermia. The most scientific one, IMHO, is not much far away from the mainstream theories for origin of life... I supose that the only difference is that something more sophisticated than the regular life "bricks" came from space already formed at the time of Earth's formation, or maybe short time after...

There's also the called "direct panspermia" which implies in a kind of ID, not necessarily someone who invented the life forms, not necessariliy against evolution by natural selection; it simply states that life was put here by some sort of intelligent being... Earth as an alien's ant farm, or something more complex... it varies... (there was a movie few years old in which life began firstly in Mars then before something odd happened to the planet, spaceships scaped from it to many places, including Earth - that would be direct panspermia too, I guess)

But this link I put here seems to be something different than those theories. Apparently life simply allways existed, an abiogenesis never happened anywhere in the universe, or at least not on earth. I have no idea of how it is against evolution by natural selection (I didn't read almost anything yet of that site), but seems that at the same time there's something like a "bauplan" inehently to any lifeform on the universe, if that's not ID it's some sort of orthogeny... or maybe both

(I was surprised when I saw the original topic I posted blocked... I thought that it somehow became polemic with flames and such... :lol: )

[This message has been edited by extremophile, 01-06-2004]


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SUnderwood
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 26 (87874)
02-21-2004 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by extremophile
01-06-2004 6:13 PM


Re: Panspermia
I've been reading about panspermia for some time and its a beautiful theory which slots well with emerging biotechnological discoveries. Heres a little background.

As extremophile indicates, in essence the major part of panspermia is the view that life is a natural consequence of the way the universe is "constructed" and works. By accident, or design, the universe has a very strong tendancy to "create/make" life's molecules and structures, almost as if it were a natural PROCESS of cosmic evolution.

One major breakthrough to this idea, discovered by which Chandler Wickramasigne, was the discovery of organic molecule absorbtion patterns of interstellar dust. Later they found absorption patterns in interstellar dust that match, near perfectly, that of dried bacteria (http://www.panspermia.org/astronmy.htm). So somehow interstellar dust is riddled with bateria and organic molecules, almost as if life is everywhere! (i know your question, wait ;-)

If one can accept the above as being a possibility, then it is not difficult to see how Earth could be seeded with life from space (and is STILL BEING SEEDED from space to this day!)

Indeed, imagine for a moment, our young star systems gas cloud was "seeded" with lifes molecules (chloroplasts, nucleiotides, etc) and bateria and inorganic molecules before its birth. During the condensation of the gas/molecular/baterial clouds into our star systems, organic and inorganic molecules would form part of the composition of all planets, comets & moons. So the molecules of life and bateria where already here at the beginning. This would help to account for lifes abundant ecosystems found kilometers below earths surface which has not had exposure to the surface. It would also help to explain why comets and meteorites have an abundance of organic compounds.

The questions of how/where did life originate, what processes go into the creation of organic compounds and cells still remains. I remember two aspects of their and associated works which get us closer to answering these questions. 1) That comets provide an excellent environment for concentrated and complex chemical reactions to take place (a sort of primordial soup), 2) the corona of stars facilitates the joining of molecules to create complex organic compounds such as chlorophyll. If you would like clearies theories visit the website or read some other books it suggests.

The website www.panspermia.org and articles and books by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe go into a lot more detail, such as;

* lifes use of viruses for the transfer of genes between speicies (horizontal transfer),
* gene transfer as the major evolutionary force, transfering large chunks of DNA/RNA from one organism to another,
* desease outbreaks coinsiding with Earths passage through a comet's path, evidence of comets as a vector of biological information (a.k.a viruses/bacteria)
* natural selection as a fine tuning mechnism for activated genes,
* evolution through genetic mutation being VERY improbable,
* Panspermia as an interesting new light on Creationism,
* Its not a matter of how life originated, but where life will originate again!

Their mission, so to say, is not to provide an answer to the origins of life, but to instigate a paradigm shift away from the Earth-centric Darwinian perspective, to a more universal, inclusive, *open ended* view of lifes origins and its existance. Thanks to biotechnological advances and techniques, comet sampling satalites, space telescopes, mars rovers etc, their theory looks more and more accurate as the weeks pass!

I could rant on but I need a break ;-) What are you thoughts? Especially I ask those who've read some of their material (ie, at least www.panspermia.org if not a book or two)

Sean


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Black
Member (Idle past 2800 days)
Posts: 77
Joined: 11-28-2008


Message 8 of 26 (98498)
04-07-2004 5:48 PM


I don't know...but I never really paid much attention to panspermia because it seems to be non falsifiable. Am I right on this?
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 2649 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 9 of 26 (98512)
04-07-2004 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Black
04-07-2004 5:48 PM


Formally, it's falsifiable but I would need to explain in detail how we have actually instead payment to Ceaser by copycat electronic means first then how Eldredge mistook the leaving of ecosystems by agriculture from ELECTRONIC bookkeeping means to ends of problems with the eating not the growing or catching of food as series in isolation with distance by ecosystem engineering into biomass productivity. No one has had stamina for this kind of discursion with me as of yet. Part of the falisfication process would require seperation of colonial organics on MARS AND VENUS or stations orbiting hotter and colder than here.

Actually it would cost less to get rid of JD WATSON's and perhaps Harvard's Gilberts' ideas on designer diseases but that aint happening.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19320
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 10 of 26 (98610)
04-08-2004 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by SUnderwood
02-21-2004 8:13 AM


Re: Panspermia
* evolution through genetic mutation being VERY improbable,

but amply demonstrated in the lab

not that that invalidates the concept.


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SUnderwood
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 26 (98690)
04-08-2004 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
04-08-2004 2:17 AM


Re: Panspermia
Correct. Genetic mutation is possible and does happen.

During transcription a mistake is estimated to occur once in every thousand or so genes copied, but the whole mechanisms of transcription compensates VERY well for these errors (if it didn't we'd probably all die before birth!).

But, and more importantly, "useful" genetic mutation is said to be very rare indeed. Mutation of an allele in a gene is more likely to impare the function of the gene than improve it. Hoyle et al have an interesting chapter in their recent book regarding the crystaline structure of DNA, its information content and its random sequence of nucleotides, which aims to show that random mutation will invariably impare the function of DNA, rather than improve it.

However, they also found, as most of you are probably aware, that a small set of allele's or a single mutation to a gene can lead to the expression/suppression of other genes, and hence lead to a great change the phenotype. Its in this way that most of fossil record has been built, by mutations of single "super" or "trigger" genes causing expression/suppression of other genes; the mutations themselves adding little or no new genes (that is to say, the do not add new information).

(There is also the topic of self-induced mutation, but thats for another topic.)


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 2649 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 12 of 26 (99493)
04-12-2004 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by SUnderwood
02-21-2004 8:13 AM


Re: Panspermia
I think the idea is simply the incomplete human factors' integration of biology and physics. Crick was pissed that many biologists did not take physics as forcefully as he did and finally finding out that Vitalism was writ off in the mid 60s by Mahler and Hamilton before Crick thought up Eigen's RNA as artifical natural selection and before panspermia if I am correct with this by guess it is really the same imposition as Gould did. Biology clearly needs a standard other than chemistry to interest the relevant mathmaticians. As this website shows simple creationist criticism cant call back this magic either.
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jar
Member
Posts: 29804
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 13 of 26 (103804)
04-29-2004 3:09 PM


I think that the concept is still way too early to make any judgements about its likelhood or even possibility.

BUT...

if you look at the universe you do see sign after sign of replication. We see stars that are similar, galaxies that are similar, movement that is similar and an underlying basic set of rules that seem to define motion and form.

Given that, I would not be surprised to see things replicated at lesser levels as well. That does not imply that life, as we see it would be the same, I would expect to see similar diversity no matter where life was found. But I would not be surprised to find that the basic building blocks were not uncommon throughout the Universe.

edited to change common to uncommon in the last sentence.

[This message has been edited by jar, 05-01-2004]


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
Replies to this message:
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extremophile
Member (Idle past 3211 days)
Posts: 53
Joined: 08-23-2003


Message 14 of 26 (105755)
05-05-2004 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
04-29-2004 3:09 PM


"jar" writes:

if you look at the universe you do see sign after sign of replication. We see stars that are similar, galaxies that are similar, movement that is similar and an underlying basic set of rules that seem to define motion and form.

Given that, I would not be surprised to see things replicated at lesser levels as well. That does not imply that life, as we see it would be the same, I would expect to see similar diversity no matter where life was found. But I would not be surprised to find that the basic building blocks were not uncommon throughout the Universe.

Have you read or at least read about "Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution", by Gary Cziko? I haven't read it yet, but I guess that it's something in this way. This link seems to be the entire book online: http://faculty.ed.uiuc.edu/g-cziko/wm/

(doesn't seems to be piracy, but if someone sees that there's something wrong, tell me and I'll remove the link)


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extremophile
Member (Idle past 3211 days)
Posts: 53
Joined: 08-23-2003


Message 15 of 26 (105766)
05-05-2004 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by SUnderwood
02-21-2004 8:13 AM


Re: Panspermia
"SUnderwood" writes:

[...]Their mission, so to say, is not to provide an answer to the origins of life, but to instigate a paradigm shift away from the Earth-centric Darwinian perspective, to a more universal, inclusive, *open ended* view of lifes origins and its existance. Thanks to biotechnological advances and techniques, comet sampling satalites, space telescopes, mars rovers etc, their theory looks more and more accurate as the weeks pass!


That's the main thing I disagree from the few of what I've read from this site. Natural selection simply doesn't care how life has originated to work. Anything that is self-reproducing at the cost of environment, having heritable varieties (not necessarily Mendelian inheritance) with different levels of efficiency is unavoidably evolving under natural selecion. So I can't understand how darwinian evolution can be Earth-centered. May be (or surely is) Earth-based, but, for the sake of logic, must work anywhere in the universe, given the necessary conditions.

"SUnderwood" writes:

I could rant on but I need a break ;-) What are you thoughts? Especially I ask those who've read some of their material (ie, at least www.panspermia.org if not a book or two)


I've barely read few texts on this site, but as some people has already stated, that's an interesting thing to discuss about, we were just expecting someone to be the advocate for this (or a prosecutor, in the sense that is trying to blame the hypothesis, ).
There are several things I'd like to discuss about this, or at least see people discussing about, since it deals with a bunch of stuff that I don't understand so well. What about purposing a new topic on "cosmic ancestry"? To deal more with the side of evolution than origin of life... (since generic panspermia hypotheses don't affect the mainstream theory of evolution)

This message has been edited by extremophile, 05-05-2004 09:37 PM


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