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Author Topic:   The Miller-Urey experiments
Percy
Member
Posts: 15646
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 16 of 26 (510877)
06-04-2009 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Dr Jack
06-03-2009 4:01 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
My first visit to their website made me suspicious. I saw lots of smoke but couldn't find a fire. So I've gone back and just read the abstract for the first article in their Origin of Life issue, and I couldn't make sense of it. I've never encountered the terms in that context before, and one of the authors, Rober Root-Bernstein, is both a MacArthur fellow and a form AIDS denier, so I don't know what to make of him.

Being unable to make sense of it, all I can say is that it's more smoke, but after a lifetime reading technical articles and debunking nonsense I feel like I've got a pretty good bullshit detector. Given the mathematical focus (indeed, that's the only common element in the widely disparate fields they cover from biology to physics), it seems to me that at a minimum they've created a journal for mathematical speculations that provides no encouragement to connect them to the real world.

This journal isn't setting off any alarm bells or at least raising suspicions for you? I mean, maybe reading all the abstracts and checking all the authors in that origin of life issue would reveal that overall nothing is really out of line, but aren't the initial impressions pretty bad?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Dr Jack, posted 06-03-2009 4:01 PM Dr Jack has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Dr Jack, posted 06-04-2009 11:27 AM Percy has not yet responded
 Message 18 by bluegenes, posted 06-04-2009 11:57 AM Percy has not yet responded

    
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 17 of 26 (510885)
06-04-2009 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Percy
06-04-2009 10:23 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
They seem to be adding more articles to that "issue", two news ones have appeared since I first linked.

I've just read through The Eukaryotic Cell Originated in the Integration and Redistribution of Hyperstructures from Communities of Prokaryotic Cells Based on Molecular Complementarity by Vic Norris and Robert Root-Bernstein. I don't know, I don't think what they're proposing is vastly unreasonable and it seems largely coherent, although the paper does seem to be light on evidence and terribly speculative, it's not entirely unique in that.

Perhaps I'm just less sensitive than you to quack, or more willing to assume the best of things.

Looking over the page of editors, there seem to be a decent number of people from respectable - if not absolute top tier - institutions such as Portsmouth, Potsdam and Basel.

(It's also indexed by INSPEC, which seems to indicate some degree of credibility)

Edited by Mr Jack, : No reason given.


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bluegenes
Member
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 18 of 26 (510889)
06-04-2009 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Percy
06-04-2009 10:23 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
I tried the 6th one down, as a sort of random choice.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/5/2019/pdf

It struck me as a bit nutty, but harmless. A crank theory of order to explain life. See what you two think. Dawkins and Behe both get a mention.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Dr Jack, posted 06-04-2009 12:53 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 19 of 26 (510891)
06-04-2009 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by bluegenes
06-04-2009 11:57 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
Oh. Yeah, that one's a bit special, isn't it?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by bluegenes, posted 06-04-2009 11:57 AM bluegenes has responded

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 Message 21 by bluegenes, posted 06-04-2009 1:36 PM Dr Jack has responded

  
bluegenes
Member
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 20 of 26 (510892)
06-04-2009 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Dr Jack
06-04-2009 12:53 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
Mr Jack writes:

Oh. Yeah, that one's a bit special, isn't it?

It was a random choice. So far, for me, I've read that one and the Abel paper. It's looking as though Percy has a point! I'll try another at random to be fair.


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bluegenes
Member
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 21 of 26 (510895)
06-04-2009 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Dr Jack
06-04-2009 12:53 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
Next random choice:

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/4/1838/pdf

Seems interesting, although I'm not qualified to judge the chemistry. Nothing cranky about it. It's a hypothesis that "coenzyme-like" molecules performed the function of hereditary before the emergence of nucleic acids. Normal OOL stuff.

It might be better to look at stuff outside the OOL section if we wanted to judge the journal, because OOL is inevitably going to involve lots of speculative ideas. But this paper wasn't nutty.


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 Message 19 by Dr Jack, posted 06-04-2009 12:53 PM Dr Jack has responded

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 Message 22 by Dr Jack, posted 06-04-2009 1:42 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 22 of 26 (510896)
06-04-2009 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by bluegenes
06-04-2009 1:36 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
It might be better to look at stuff outside the OOL section if we wanted to judge the journal, because OOL is inevitably going to involve lots of speculative ideas. But this paper wasn't nutty.

Good point.


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 Message 21 by bluegenes, posted 06-04-2009 1:36 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
Matt P
Member (Idle past 2247 days)
Posts: 106
From: Tampa FL
Joined: 03-18-2005


Message 23 of 26 (511021)
06-05-2009 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by bluegenes
06-03-2009 9:59 AM


IJMS is not that impressive
I received an email from IJMS in October last year asking to publish in this journal for the Origins of Life issue. My colleague and I decided against it as it came with a publication charge of about $800, which is usually a sign of H-factor-boosting and little else. As far as I can tell, it's legit, but not necessarily respectable. Peer review seemed minimal.

If you want better origins of life studies, try different journals:

The top origins of life journals currently include, naturally, "Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres"
http://www.springerlink.com/content/102974/
which was the major journal that has and continues to follow up on Miller and Urey's 1953 experiment. It was started sometime in the 1960s, and has gone by a few names. I've published there, but then again, so have OE creationists (Fazale Rana, specifically). The journal is not too heavy on peer review (my paper had only 1 reviewer, though the editor was very familiar with our work), so some crazier stuff occasionally gets through.

Astrobiology (http://www.liebertpub.com/products/product.aspx?pid=99) is probably the top in the origins of life field currently as papers submitted there go through the most peer review (my paper had 3 reviewers) and often become heavily cited. Very little crazy stuff gets through the peer review for this journal. The journal has only been around for 7-8 years.

International Journal of Astrobiology is the final origins-focused journal, and is young like Astrobiology, but lacks the heavy peer review. Our article there had only one reviewer (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=5336928), but the review was still pretty rigorous. Some crazy stuff gets published there.

Unfortunately the origins of life as a field attracts some pretty crazy stuff.


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Replies to this message:
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 24 of 26 (511023)
06-05-2009 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Matt P
06-05-2009 4:43 PM


Re: IJMS is not that impressive
Thanks for that Matt :)

Might I ask what your paper was? Assuming it was published in the end?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Matt P, posted 06-05-2009 4:43 PM Matt P has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Matt P, posted 06-05-2009 5:26 PM Dr Jack has responded

  
Matt P
Member (Idle past 2247 days)
Posts: 106
From: Tampa FL
Joined: 03-18-2005


Message 25 of 26 (511027)
06-05-2009 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Dr Jack
06-05-2009 4:46 PM


Re: IJMS is not that impressive
Hi Mr Jack,

I've got a couple (actually 9 in print, and one in press). My most cited is in Astrobiology and attempts to address the origin of phosphorylated biomolecules (things like ATP, DNA, RNA, and others). Here's the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078869

My Origins of Life paper dealt with the historic fluxes of extraterrestrial material as sources of prebiotic material (http://www.springerlink.com/content/d0013w72562v0214/).

I had good luck with proceedings of the national academy of science, and paid extra to make it publically available:
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/853.short
check it out if you'd like!

Let me know if you'd like a pdf copy of any of these.

More on topic- I was pleased to actually meet Stanley Miller before he passed away. Although critique of his 1953 paper is a common creationist tactic, he seemed always pleased to have young scientists follow and expand on his ideas. Though we don't have the origins of life solved yet, we're closeer than we were back when he helped invent the field.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Dr Jack, posted 06-05-2009 4:46 PM Dr Jack has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Dr Jack, posted 06-07-2009 2:45 PM Matt P has not yet responded

    
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 26 of 26 (511188)
06-07-2009 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Matt P
06-05-2009 5:26 PM


Thank you
Thanks Matt. I have access to most journals via the OU so I'll look those up when I get time :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Matt P, posted 06-05-2009 5:26 PM Matt P has not yet responded

  
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