What is a viable enzyme, Taq? Viable means able to survive. Survive implies being alive. From what I understand about the living I conclude that an enzyme by itself is no more alive than a hammer. Just one tiny element in a network of death escaping machines. My point was that life is not known to exist other than in such a network. Which is the most simplest network that is viable is another question.
So, Percy, could you specify for the cat your beliefs as to how exactly the first proteins came about and what they were? What kind of a death escaping machine were they the building blocks of? What kind of a system that death escaping machine was a part of? Or was the machine alone or in company of just a few of the same kind?
What exactly in the cat's explanation keeps the pair of you so deep in the dark? Where is the obfuscation exactly? Now, mind you, the very same stuff is expressed by other people using all kinds of functions, manifolds, hyperspheres, Petrosian radii, wavelengths, arcseconds and radians and suchlike exotic stuff you might have difficulties with. The feline keeps it all down to the very essence a nine year old whose brain is not washed thin by the lifelong exposure to the bigbangism should be able to grasp. Just simple triangles and most basic assumptions: light speed is constant throughout with no fancy exceptions whatsoever. Due to that space and time are two interchangeable measures of distance. Direction is relative. A meter of time is the interval it takes light to cover that distance in that direction. A second of space is the distance light crosses in a standard second. So anyone standing five meters to your left strictly speaking is five meters into the relative past, any one standing five meters to the right is in the past too but that is not exactly the same past since time is a strictly local measurement relative to an arbitrary location. Light departs into the future only and arrives only from the past. The three of you do not occupy the same location so are not simultaneous. Not in the same past from one another's perspective. That is just five common-or-garden meters so the effect is infinitesimal. Not zero though, as the radiation signal is not instantaneous. Now when talking about the wide cosmos the same negligible delay becomes mind-bogglingly huge. In every direction and not just one single way for the whole of existence like the idiotic metric of Friedmann would love you believe.
Aren't you a naive panda's thumb? The cat is just charitable on you mice. He gives you lot a lot of cover to concentrate on so that you can ignore the book and its deadly claws with perfect ease you desire.
Larn, you can't produce a virus whereas the latest research inclines the cat to believe that the virus was being instrumental in producing you from a different type of ape. Hence the viral memory and intelligence must be ultimately superior to yours.
That's exactly what the problem is. Any known system of death escaping machines is way too intricate to have self-assembled by chance all at once. Yet gradualism is not too convincing a proposal either given how deadly is the Mother Nature's well known nature. All life is hell-bent on avoiding death; it is exceedingly greedy to replicate and that and only that is what enables it to strike a balance with the ever malicious Mother hell-bent on infanticide. If that innate death resistance urge is absent, there is no plausible mechanism to explain how the gradual changes could be preserved one after the other in an orderly succession eventually leading to a fully functioning death-avoiding machine let alone a whole system of such machines which as the cat suspects is the minimum requirement of survival. Constructing life looks like building a skyscraper under the condition you need to start building from the top floor.
Not only other death avoiding machines represent the destruction. Such a machine is in essence the memory of ways to deal with the surroundings. The memory has to be accumulated and retained faster than the surroundings may degrade it. Water in your pond is such a degrader for one. The machine has to keep abreast while the inert is known to be happy to lag behind. Therefore the question of precedence is an open one. The position expressed by Kelvin and Helmholtz seems to be quite a reasonable one. That the inert matter must precede life necessarily is just a belief without any firm foundations. The observation tells only that both are present. Therefore the belief is arrived at by a mental deduction of life from matter. Moreover since time in the Universe is relative the proposal can be sustained only by the intuition of linear time which is but another unreasonable belief.
Tacky, a much simpler life that left no fossil is no strawman. It is a ghost. No more substance than the designer postulated by the ID folks. You just need it to have been there for purely theoretical reasons. Nothing wrong with that. Flesh the ghost out, devise a mini-environment and try to demonstrate how the chemicals bond into that particular pattern. Just don't sell it as a fact of nature reflecting what had really happened 4 billion years ago. Your guess is that it was abiogenesis. Fine. Mine is that it was pre-existing life arriving on rocks and comets. Face it, your guess is as good as mine.
That they were putting out oxygen is no indication of a much greater simplicity you postulate. It is actually only an indication of presence. Nobody contests that. From that presence no conclusion about any origins follows. The data show the presence from very early on by the way. We are not talking about how modern species came together. The topic is the first ones to appear on earth and the relative complexity of their bits and pieces. If the cat does not understand what is that you are proposing, then explain what it is exactly.
The direct parent planet may or may not be known. That would depend on further astrobiology research and general progress in astronomy. By now, if such existed, it might well be gone making tracing it difficult for obvious reasons. The earth might lend seeds of a future tree of life elsewhere and if similar to us clever monkeys develop there too, they will be left guessing about their origins just like we are now. The ultimate origin of life may not also be an answerable question. Given the relativity of universal time the question may be less than meaningful. I am not saying that those who believe that life on earth originated through abiogenesis should stop doing their research in that direction. It's just that I see the insistence that this must have been the case by all means to be very foolish and hardly scientific.
If you want a more extensive argument why water may be degrading to a memory arising from oblivion read Robert Shapiro's skeptical book and other stuff. He is quite impartial not supporting panspermia either.
I never said life must have preceded inert matter or the other way round. All I said was not observed separately and that the contention there was a point in time when life was absent from every location in the universe is an impossible claim of bigbangism. I cannot be quite sure abiogenesis is absolutely impossible. It's not to be logically excluded in principle. On the other hand I'm absolutely certain a universal linear calendar is not in the stars. Absolutely impossible for the reasons of elementary geometry and logic. I'll find the exact words of Kelvin or Helmholtz and then I'll post them.
Whatever is the case none of it is any indication that the first proteins belonged to systems any simpler than a modern virus and its bacterial host. There is a bottom limit to living complexity. It has to be no simpler than what allows it to remember itself. What is exactly the simplest possible chemical and mechanical configuration that is that limit?
Sorry, Gyps, you might not be aware of that but in the meantime the relativity has been high-jacked by the bigbangism that restored back the naive idea of the universal calendar and is creationist geocentrism in disguise. So Kelvin's ideas may be far more advanced and reasonable in comparison to this pre-Copernican concept which is currently the monopoly consensus-nonsensus view in cosmology. The view is highly pernicious to science in general since it puts constraints on other disciplines such as biology.