Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 109 (8803 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 11-24-2017 6:59 PM
348 online now:
dwise1, GDR, Modulous (AdminModulous), NoNukes (4 members, 344 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Post Volume:
Total: 822,958 Year: 27,564/21,208 Month: 1,477/1,714 Week: 320/365 Day: 47/42 Hour: 0/5

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1234
5
6789Next
Author Topic:   Is there a border dividing life from non-life?
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 61 of 132 (130868)
08-05-2004 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by jar
08-05-2004 9:39 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
jar

Certainly but what is probably lacking is enough data to narrow it down to at least a ballpark area for each mutation,again we at one time did not know how rust formed or how stars produced energy but all things are easy in hindsite.It may well be that the complexity is too great to catalog in order to see the pattern and because of this never fully resolve the issue.

I also mentioned that enzymes mutate yet are they considered alive?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by jar, posted 08-05-2004 9:39 PM jar has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2004 10:17 AM sidelined has not yet responded

  
contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 62 of 132 (130934)
08-06-2004 6:14 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Loudmouth
08-05-2004 2:29 PM


quote:
With organisms we see the separation of these reactions from the outside environment, and the production of new "thermodynamic islands" through reproduction.

I like it. and I roughly agree with your anlysis of the terrestrial water cycle. But we usually define life in part with reproduction; what I was driving at was the entropic role life plays, the format for that role requires bounding and reproduction, indeed.

This message has been edited by contracycle, 08-06-2004 05:16 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Loudmouth, posted 08-05-2004 2:29 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1689 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 63 of 132 (130965)
08-06-2004 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by sidelined
08-05-2004 9:57 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
When you say that enzymes mutate all you are actually talking about is mutations in the protein coding regions of the DNA for that enzyme. Unless there was something on that site of yours which actually specified a way of making reproducible enzyme variants without changing the DNA/RNA coding for them, which I doubt.

So all you are really asking is whether DNA is alive.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by sidelined, posted 08-05-2004 9:57 PM sidelined has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Loudmouth, posted 08-06-2004 1:53 PM Wounded King has responded

    
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 132 (131026)
08-06-2004 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by jar
08-05-2004 8:09 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
quote:
Nope. Because that is what always happens. In living creatures mutations lead to new and unique results. It is entirely predictable while the random mutations that happen in living things are unpredictable.

Is the air alive then, since we can not predict weather with pinpoint accuracy? For instance, can we predict the number and severity of hurricanes in the year 2006 with the data we have now?

Or perhaps weather and living organisms share a similar characteristic, a level of complexity that defies simple predictions. There are simple experiments that give a predictable result when looking at simple organisms. For example, if I add S. cerevisae to wort I will get beer. If I add glucose to a culture of lactobacillus, I will get lactic acid in return. However, your example of mutation is like that of weather. There are multiple pressures and mechanisms that can result in several outcomes. Not knowing an outcome before the environmental change is initiated is not different than not knowing how many hurricanes will develop before the seas start to warm during summer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by jar, posted 08-05-2004 8:09 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 08-07-2004 11:57 AM Loudmouth has responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 65 of 132 (131027)
08-06-2004 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Wounded King
08-06-2004 10:17 AM


Re: Do non-living systems
quote:
Unless there was something on that site of yours which actually specified a way of making reproducible enzyme variants without changing the DNA/RNA coding for them, which I doubt.

Just being nitpicky, but it is possible. Post-translation modification of proteins is quite common, and can include glycosylation, proteolytic cleavage, or conformational changes through binding to another protein. However, all of these modifications are also controlled by DNA/RNA, just not the region specifically coding for the enzyme in question.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2004 10:17 AM Wounded King has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Wounded King, posted 08-07-2004 7:22 AM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1689 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 66 of 132 (131287)
08-07-2004 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Loudmouth
08-06-2004 1:53 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
In which case they aren't reproducible because they aren't reproducing, not beacuse you can't do it more than once, perhaps heritable would have been a better way to phrase it. You can't have post-transational modifications with nothing to translate, and the post seem to imply no role for gnetic material, all you are doing is moving the mutation from the coding region of one enzyme to the coding region of the protein doing the post-translational modification not removing the genetic component. The evolution is still clearly in the genetic sequence and not in the enzyme.

Perhaps you could have an environmental factor causing a post-translational modification without the involvement of another protein but I don't se how this could be heritable.

TTFN,

WK

This message has been edited by Wounded King, 08-07-2004 06:23 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Loudmouth, posted 08-06-2004 1:53 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 29628
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 67 of 132 (131316)
08-07-2004 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Loudmouth
08-06-2004 1:50 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
While predicting hurricanes or a tornadoes path is fairly complicated, we are getting better and better at understanding and predicting such things.

But the conditions that bring us hurricanes always bring us hurricanes. Given the set of conditions that leads to a hurricane never (at least so far) produces a blizzard.

Mutations in living critters though is different. It would be the hurricane adding snow to its list of features or removing high winds as a characteristic. The only difference that I can see between living and non-living systems is that unique variation. New forms do evolve and those new critters are as different and unique as the hurricane with snow or one without wind.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Loudmouth, posted 08-06-2004 1:50 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by sidelined, posted 08-07-2004 1:27 PM jar has responded
 Message 71 by Loudmouth, posted 08-09-2004 12:47 PM jar has not yet responded

  
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 68 of 132 (131343)
08-07-2004 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by jar
08-07-2004 11:57 AM


Re: Do non-living systems
jar

But the conditions that bring us hurricanes always bring us hurricanes.

Mutations in living critters though is different.The only difference that I can see between living and non-living systems is that unique variation.

Hurricanes are different from one another even though we can recognize a hurricane by pre-determined criteria such as wind speed and damage but there is no more anyway to predict the individual aspects such as cloud height,barometric pressures and diameter in the eye,velocity of the winds of the eye wall,influence of el nino etc.
Each hurricane is a unique variation on the general designation of the classification hurricane.

The conditions that bring us human beings always bring us human beings.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 08-07-2004 11:57 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by jar, posted 08-07-2004 1:30 PM sidelined has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29628
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 69 of 132 (131345)
08-07-2004 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by sidelined
08-07-2004 1:27 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
The conditions that bring us human beings always bring us human beings.

So far. But once they were reptiles.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by sidelined, posted 08-07-2004 1:27 PM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by sidelined, posted 08-07-2004 1:43 PM jar has not yet responded

  
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 70 of 132 (131354)
08-07-2004 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by jar
08-07-2004 1:30 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
jar

And hurricanes were once gentle breezes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by jar, posted 08-07-2004 1:30 PM jar has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by lfen, posted 08-14-2004 10:19 PM sidelined has responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 132 (131895)
08-09-2004 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by jar
08-07-2004 11:57 AM


Re: Do non-living systems
quote:
But the conditions that bring us hurricanes always bring us hurricanes. Given the set of conditions that leads to a hurricane never (at least so far) produces a blizzard.

And selective pressures always give us a change in allele frequency (or extinction). Given a selective pressure, adaptation is inevitable. The variance in adaptation is no different than the variance in hurricane shape, path, velocity, etc. As far as a hurricane producing a blizzard, this would be the same as bacteria using their cell wall for protein coding instead of DNA.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 08-07-2004 11:57 AM jar has not yet responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2271 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 72 of 132 (133950)
08-14-2004 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by sidelined
08-07-2004 1:43 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
I'm going to take a philosophical look at the language and concepts we are using for this phenomna. I think the discussion is having trouble with entity and entity is a tough thing. It's partly a result of language and partly a way our nervous system organizes input. And living organisms particularly, since each of us is one, have a strong attraction in our thinking.

Take the conditions for a star to begin and then end. When does a cloud of gas become a protostar? a protostar a star? a star a dead star?

Back to semantics. "I gave my love a cherry that had no stone". Nouns are illusions created by semantic structuring and neuroprocessing. There are no things. What there are are stages in processes that we give names to. Budding, blooming, fruiting, ripening, rotting are all stages in a process of cherrying. Our organism process is most interested in interacting with the end of the ripening process of the cherrying, so to for birding processes, but beeing processes prefer interacting with the blooming process. Unless we are doing some sort of decorative process that interacts with the blooming process.

So living processes occur and continue and include something sort of like the ripening process and the rotting process. Matter and energy move through living and non living processes.

Conjecture: the universe is a collection of movements of energy/matter creating space/time. And then there is consciousness which I'm spending a lot of time musing about but just don't know quite how it fits.

The concept of border might be easier to understand if we spoke of threshold, and action threshold. Under what conditions does water change state from solid to liquid to gas? Under what conditions does matter change state from nonliving to living to nonliving? And what role does consciousness play in this?

lfen

This message has been edited by lfen, 08-14-2004 09:21 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by sidelined, posted 08-07-2004 1:43 PM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by sidelined, posted 08-14-2004 10:32 PM lfen has responded

  
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 73 of 132 (133952)
08-14-2004 10:32 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by lfen
08-14-2004 10:19 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
Ifen

Therein lies a great fault with philosophy and that is the endless questions without a formal means of acting upon the questions to check if they have any substance of reality or if they are merely for the sport of speculation.

The aim of my question is to delve into the limitations imposed upon us by our convention of naming things while ignoring that the real world has no such imperative.The border itself seems to be an illusion simply because our consciousness is one of the aspects we grant ourselves as part of being "alive".However we have no evidence of consciousness in most animals.Hell just try to define what is meant by consiousness.This is going to be a seperate topic that I will try to get started.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by lfen, posted 08-14-2004 10:19 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by lfen, posted 08-14-2004 10:45 PM sidelined has responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2271 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 74 of 132 (133955)
08-14-2004 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by sidelined
08-14-2004 10:32 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
sidelined,

Be kinder and gentler and call it a "limitation" and not a "fault". Unexamined philosophical assumptions can create problems in doing science. And I think my suggestion to look at thresholds insteand of borders while admittedly only semantic recasting of your question, might lead to looking at the situation differently enough to better understand it.

Border as a word tends to call to mind the lines on a map. But the border of the land and water is a transition zone. The borders between living and dead are likewise transition zones.

So will you accept that though there are no discrete borders there are zones that lie between what we clearly recognize as alive and dead?

As to a thread on consciousness I will be there when you get it going.

lfen

edited to note: I am speaking of life as an emergent property so I agree with your initial formulation only emphasizing the emergent property rather than the reductionist emphasis.

This message has been edited by lfen, 08-14-2004 09:48 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by sidelined, posted 08-14-2004 10:32 PM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by sidelined, posted 08-14-2004 11:03 PM lfen has responded

  
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 75 of 132 (133962)
08-14-2004 11:03 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by lfen
08-14-2004 10:45 PM


Re: Do non-living systems
Ifen

Border as a word tends to call to mind the lines on a map. But the border of the land and water is a transition zone. The borders between living and dead are likewise transition zones.


So will you accept that though there are no discrete borders there are zones that lie between what we clearly recognize as alive and dead?

I would accept that yes when you can tell me how you would determine where water ended and land began {which I feel can be done} AND where living things end and non-living things begin.{which has yet to be satisfactorily accomplished} Non-living is not necessarily the same as dead.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by lfen, posted 08-14-2004 10:45 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by lfen, posted 08-14-2004 11:43 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Prev1234
5
6789Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017