Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 120 (8763 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 06-24-2017 4:39 AM
382 online now:
Boof, Dr Adequate, PaulK, Tangle (4 members, 378 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: aristotle
Post Volume:
Total: 811,969 Year: 16,575/21,208 Month: 2,464/3,593 Week: 577/882 Day: 9/86 Hour: 1/0

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev123
4
Author Topic:   Self-sustained Replication of an RNA Enzyme
Admin
Director
Posts: 12516
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 46 of 52 (560215)
05-13-2010 7:43 PM


Moderator Request
There's been a complaint about manners in this thread. I've given it a very quick read and so I could have easily missed something, but my impression is that this thread is doing fine. We were just visited by someone voluble and extremely thin skinned, so if everyone could just exhibit a little toughness and tolerance and civility for a while and give moderators (or at least this moderator) a break it would be appreciated.

Dcarraher is raising some good points. I know that for some who have been here a while and seen these points before that there's a tendency to cut to the chase and skip all the intermediate steps, but everyone on both sides of the discussion deserves a careful and thoughtful discussion of their position, even if it's one we've seen before.

I will weigh in on one point. It is this moderator's opinion that even base premises can be measured against the evidence and that discussion is therefore worthwhile.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-15-2010 10:18 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18653
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 47 of 52 (560224)
05-13-2010 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by dcarraher
05-13-2010 1:38 PM


Re: The definition of life is ... STILL missing ...
Hi dcarraher, yes, I am still waiting for your definition of life.

I've cut you some slack to provide this definition as you are a newcomer to this forum.

The question is whether you can distinguish yourself from the usual IDologist\creationist ... by actually providing substantiation for claims made.

No - because you started with something that is unarguably "Life", and ended with more. In the RNA experiment, you started with RNA, which is unarguably "Not Life", and ended up with more "Not Life". QED - Experiments that start with non-life and end up with more non-life = irrelevant to abiogenesis.

And yet, amusingly, you still have not defined what life is. In order for you to claim that one thing is "unarguably "Life"" and that something else is "unarguably "Not Life"" you must have a definition that makes this "unarguable" distinction.

Yet it appears that you cannot define what life is, because you have not posted it, in spite of several requests to do so.

Note that this is a science forum and you are required to substantiate your claims.

Forum Guidelines

What is your definition of life that allows your to make an "unarguable" distinction between life and non-life?

Message 30 Because the experiment starts with something that is clearly non-life, and ends with more of something that is not significantly different. You started with the ability to replicate, and ended with the ability to replicate - you did not add the ability to replicate, nor did you add any other "life-like" characteristics. Ergo, irrelevant to the question of abiogenesis.

How do you know this without knowing what the definition of life is?

Message 31 ...

Still no definition of life ...

Message 34 Yes. Even those evolutionists who propose an RNA scenario for the origin of life are merely presenting it as a hypothesis. And within the Evolutionary community, it has many detractors who dismiss it as implausible. So, I'm not really stating anything that other evolutionists haven't, re whether self-replicating RNA is relevant to abiogenesis. If you'd care to argue the point further - take it up with them.

Still no definition of life ...

Message 35 Definition of Life

Ah ... finally addressing the issue?

I really have no response to those of who insist that biology and chemistry are so closely related that there is no difference. I'll have more to offer in the next post, but for this post, I'd like to quote physicist Paul Davies, in his book The Eerie Silence:
...
If I find the distinction between chemistry and biology to be pretty clear, at the very least I am not alone. Let's file this one under the heading of "agree to disagree", where you must admit that you are disagreeing with a significant portion of the evolutionary community, not just creationists and "IDiots".

Curiously, even thought the post is titled "Definition of Life" there is STILL no definition of life given.

Epic failure.

Message 39 Definitions and Measurements

A common thread running through the above posts is regarding the definition and measurement of such terms as "Life", "Information", "Chemistry vs. Biology", etc. One of the most common debating tactics of evolutionists is the demand that, not only must their opponent define and be able to measure these concepts, but that they have to do it on the evolutionist's terms - in a purely materialistic fashion. If they cannot (so the evolutionist argument goes), then they cannot use those terms to criticise evolutionist views.

Curiously, that is how science is done, with measurements and clearly defined terms.

Let me provide an example:
The sky is blue in my world.

Based on this statement, you can theorize that either I'm a happy guy, or the weather outside is nice, or both. This is "Information". It is not definable, or measurable, in materialistic terms. It is not constrained by or limited to or even contained in the material elements (LCD pixels?) that transmits the information. But it is definitely "Real" - the material universe has changed because of it. But according to the evolutionist, I would not be allowed to assert that the sky is blue, because I am not able to measure the information content of the message.

And IF you cannot measure and quantify the amount of "information" in a statement (or DNA or anything else), THEN you cannot say whether there is more, less, an increase or a decrease, ...

... and yet you have made these kinds of statements. Therefore you are either making stuff up, and telling falsehoods OR you have measured the things you have claimed to have quantified.

But according to the evolutionist, I would not be allowed to assert that the sky is blue, because I am not able to measure the information content of the message.

Nope.

You can assert that the sky is blue to your hearts content, what you cannot do is assert that the amount of information in your statement is more or less than the information in a claim that the sky is grey or black or a rainbow of colors or shades of red and orange.

All these statements are observations, and they do convey meaning.

Only if you want to claim that one has more or less information than another do you need to have a definition of information that you can quantify and measure.

It is the claim of more or less that requires quantification to substantiate.

Evolutionists don't have a large (or even a small) concern with the actual amount of "information" and whether it is more or less in one situation than another, because we are happily willing to consider that the amount of information can (and does) fluctuate, and we do not bind ourselves to simplistic thinking that it can ONLY decrease in one situation, or that condition {A} must have MORE than condition {B} - only IDologists and creationists seem to make this kind of silly claim (silly because they don't know the quantity that they base the claim on).

Just like you, apparently, don't know what life is that is quantitatively different from non-life.

Similarly, "Life" is qualitatively different than "Non-Life" even if not in a form that is measurable materialistically. To use an example that has been beat to death (sorry, bad pun), what is the difference between a live cat and dead cat? A quantum of time. Materially they could be exactly identical.

And -- hysterically -- you STILL have failed to define life.

So you've asked me to provide a "definition" and "measurement" of information, and life, or you will not accept my criticism of this experiment as not showing an increase in (non-material) information, or being irrelevant to the question of (non-materially-constrained) abiogenesis?

Yes, the definition of life specifically, because you made a claim:

Message 16 ... I'm really astonished that evolutionists would care to argue that life is indistinguishable from non-life. ...

This clearly implies that YOU are able to make such a distinction, and so you should be able to provide a simple definition.

IF you are incapable of providing such a definition, THEN we can all be highly amused that you would make such a foolish, careless, and silly statement, accusing others of not being able to do something that YOU cannot do.

Sorry, you've merely confirmed my assertion that EvC is mostly pointless because we cannot accept each other's base premises.

And yet, fascinatingly, you have FAILED to defined your "base premises" (life, information) so that we can even evaluate them in order to decide whether or not to accept them.

You cannot complain about any failure by anyone to accept information you have not provided.

As a P.S. - One of the posters above states that the RNA has information. My own opinion on the subject (speaking only for myself) is that "material information" is qualitatively different than "non-material" information. RNA has what I call material information - information that is a direct result of its physical/chemical properties. This is the kind of information that even a water molecule has. A Living Cell, on the other hand, has nonmaterial information contained in its DNA - e.g. how to build a protein. The ability to build a copy of itself is not a characteristic of its physical binding chemistry, it is a process that requires messengers and translators. Replicating RNA replicates because of its chemical characteristics, not because of the information it contains that can be interpreted.

And you have still FAILED to define how you distinguish these kinds of information ...

... you're just making stuff up.

Now, you can

  1. honestly concede that you do not have a definition of life that allows us to clearly distinguish life from non-life in ALL instances, or
  2. honestly provide a definition (that can be tested to see if it "unarguably" distinguish life from non-life in ALL instances), OR
  3. dishonestly continue to dodge the issue, in typical IDologist\creatiionist fashion (and then we will know that you are another typical IDologist\creatiionist that pretends to know things they don't know).

You're call.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by dcarraher, posted 05-13-2010 1:38 PM dcarraher has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 138 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 48 of 52 (560352)
05-14-2010 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by dcarraher
05-13-2010 2:35 PM


Death
Hi, Dcarraher.

dcarraher writes:

Similarly, "Life" is qualitatively different than "Non-Life" even if not in a form that is measurable materialistically... what is the difference between a live cat and dead cat? A quantum of time. Materially they could be exactly identical.

Is it your position that death does not have a materialistic cause?
What do you make of an autopsy, in which the purpose is to determine "cause of death"? Is such work futile?

It seems to me that the difference between a living cat and a dead cat is...

...the amount of blood they have lost.

or

...the amount of physical deterioration due to a terminal disease, infection or other condition.

or

...the prevalance of failures of necessary chemical reactions in the body due to oxygen depravation.

or

...etc.

It seems to me that organisms only die in conjunction with some type of materialistic change that results in cessation of function. They don't die unless something is different.

-----

P.S. Although it seems unlikely now, I hope you choose to stay here. It's not everyday we see a creationist who can write as coherently and fluently as you can.

Edited by Bluejay, : Superfluous "that"


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by dcarraher, posted 05-13-2010 2:35 PM dcarraher has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18653
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 49 of 52 (560381)
05-14-2010 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by dcarraher
05-13-2010 2:35 PM


Side Notes - what's the difference
Hi again dcarraher, something else to think about (while you work on the issue of defining what life is, such that you can always distinguish it from non-life).

One of the posters above states that the RNA has information. My own opinion on the subject (speaking only for myself) is that "material information" is qualitatively different than "non-material" information. RNA has what I call material information - information that is a direct result of its physical/chemical properties. This is the kind of information that even a water molecule has. A Living Cell, on the other hand, has nonmaterial information contained in its DNA - e.g. how to build a protein. The ability to build a copy of itself is not a characteristic of its physical binding chemistry, it is a process that requires messengers and translators. Replicating RNA replicates because of its chemical characteristics, not because of the information it contains that can be interpreted.

Just to be clear on your position, you are claiming that RNA is not really any different than rock, correct?

Both have "material information - information that is a direct result of its physical/chemical properties" would you not agree?

I think you would also agree that rock does not have any "non-material information" so this would also be similar to what you claim about RNA.

Any problems with this?

My own opinion on the subject (speaking only for myself) is that "material information" is qualitatively different than "non-material" information.

Can you describe what the quality is that is present in "non-material information" that is not present in "material information" and where it is contained if it is non-material?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by dcarraher, posted 05-13-2010 2:35 PM dcarraher has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 50 of 52 (560457)
05-15-2010 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Admin
05-13-2010 7:43 PM


Re: Moderator Request
Dcarraher is raising some good points. I know that for some who have been here a while and seen these points before that there's a tendency to cut to the chase and skip all the intermediate steps, but everyone on both sides of the discussion deserves a careful and thoughtful discussion of their position, even if it's one we've seen before.

I don't think we'll be seeing much of him any time soon. He came in here with a taunting hubris that was swiftly and decisively assassinated. If I were a betting man I'd wager that he probably rules the roost on some other forum and stumbled upon EvC. He quickly came to find out that EvC isn't your run of the mill debate forum and, with tail between his legs, scurried back to his home website where he can thrash the competition instead of being thrashed.

You are right to say that so many of the same manufactured PRATT's are thrown around that people have a tendency to cut to the chase and not bother with the formalities. Perhaps a little more restraint and patience could be exhibited. Even still, I think in this case the main catalyst was the ego in which was flaunted so confidently (recklessly from EvC's perspective).

I will weigh in on one point. It is this moderator's opinion that even base premises can be measured against the evidence and that discussion is therefore worthwhile.

I'll second that.


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from mistaken conviction." Blaise Pascal
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Admin, posted 05-13-2010 7:43 PM Admin has acknowledged this reply

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18653
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 51 of 52 (560492)
05-15-2010 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by dcarraher
05-13-2010 1:45 PM


another tid-bit
If you return, dcarraher, this is another tid-bit for you:

Because the experiment starts with something that is clearly non-life, and ends with more of something that is not significantly different. You started with the ability to replicate, and ended with the ability to replicate - you did not add the ability to replicate, nor did you add any other "life-like" characteristics. Ergo, irrelevant to the question of abiogenesis.

What is added is the ability to self replicate, which is not normally part of the RNA behavior in cells, nor in the process of viral reproduction, so yes indeed something has been added.

Of course this is not new\news to biologists, as there are many known self-replicating molecules.

Is this self-replication life? Until we have a clear definition of life it is difficult to say. Is a virus alive? Depends on your definition of life.

Is this self-replication a feature of life as we know it? Yes, it is common to all organisms during reproduction that all the elements of a cell are replicated.

This is something that rocks do not do. This makes self-replicating RNA more similar to the chemistry of DNA and cellular reproduction than to rocks.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by dcarraher, posted 05-13-2010 1:45 PM dcarraher has not yet responded

  
AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 487
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 52 of 52 (560544)
05-15-2010 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by dcarraher
05-13-2010 2:35 PM


Lost in translation.
dcarraher writes:

As a P.S. - One of the posters above states that the RNA has information. My own opinion on the subject (speaking only for myself) is that "material information" is qualitatively different than "non-material" information. RNA has what I call material information - information that is a direct result of its physical/chemical properties. This is the kind of information that even a water molecule has. A Living Cell, on the other hand, has nonmaterial information contained in its DNA - e.g. how to build a protein. The ability to build a copy of itself is not a characteristic of its physical binding chemistry, it is a process that requires messengers and translators. Replicating RNA replicates because of its chemical characteristics, not because of the information it contains that can be interpreted.

This is a very intriguing distinction that you have created! So, if i have never seen a bible and one day I find a bible and read it, I think we can all agree that that bible contains information, the process of my reading that bible conveys some quantity of information to me, and as a result my state of knowledge is increased. We may not agree on the precise quantity of information, but certainly some amount of information is involved. But, suppose that bible is written in hebrew, which I don't understand, so I have someone who understands both hebrew and english translate the bible for me.

In that case, according to your hypothesized distinction, the type and quantity of information transferred to me and the change in my state of knowledge is different in a very significant way. In fact, you are saying that reading a translation of the bible conveys a superior form of information than reading the original, and I would suppose, reading a translation of a translation gets even better. I'm going to have to give this some thought because, if you are right, and I have no reason to doubt that you are, it seems that I can greatly increase the quality of information I acquire by reading extended translations, and do so at no additional cost to myself.

Just to clarify how this works, if I read something that was originally in english, then translated to language X, and then translated back to english, will that convey more information and of a higher quality that if I had read the original? Or am I misunderstanding your point here?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by dcarraher, posted 05-13-2010 2:35 PM dcarraher has not yet responded

  
Prev123
4
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017