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Author Topic:   Problems with the first life
mihkel4397
Inactive Member


Message 106 of 138 (185634)
02-15-2005 5:21 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by Chiroptera
02-15-2005 4:37 PM


Re: there was no "first" life form
By definition, there was a first single cell life form. The problem is that it occurred 3.8 billion years ago, coinciding (at least in geological terms) with the existence of water, a prerequsite for any life. This gives far too little time for random events to combine simple amino acids to single cell organisms with the exqusite genome which is the basis of all present day life. And that includes the Cambrian explosion of species 530 million years ago.
You can statistically rule out random events even over the very short span of some tens of millions of years as sufficient. Unless you want to make liars of Crick and Hoyle among many others.


Mihkel

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 4:37 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 5:38 PM mihkel4397 has replied
 Message 111 by JonF, posted 02-16-2005 9:00 AM mihkel4397 has replied

  
Ooook!
Member (Idle past 5128 days)
Posts: 340
From: London, UK
Joined: 09-29-2003


Message 107 of 138 (185638)
02-15-2005 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by mihkel4397
02-15-2005 4:26 PM


Re: That first life form
The amazing thing which science accepts but wishes to ignore is that life emerged the moment there was water.

To the nearest second? Or to the nearest million years?

And it contained the fantastically complex genome which has been the basis of all further evolution.

Really??

That's an amazingly confident (and more importantly - absolute) statement. Can you explain the evidence that you have based this conclusion on?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by mihkel4397, posted 02-15-2005 4:26 PM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:14 AM Ooook! has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 108 of 138 (185646)
02-15-2005 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by mihkel4397
02-15-2005 5:21 PM


Re: there was no "first" life form
quote:
By definition, there was a first single cell life form.

No, just like there is no definite level at which water goes from "shallow" to "deep" or light from "bright" to "dim". "life" started as some replicating system, probably too simple to actually be called life, and ended as a single cell, definitely fitting what we would call "living", but there was no definite, sharp cut-off between what we would call a non-living replicator and a definite living cell.

If I am wrong, then please give us the definition of "first single cell life form". Even if you can supply the definition, there would have been a precursor which, even if it could not, by your definition, be called a "single living cell", was only slightly different from this first cell.

--

quote:
The problem is that it occurred 3.8 billion years ago, coinciding (at least in geological terms) with the existence of water, a prerequsite for any life.

It certainly coincided with the end of the period of intense bombardment of the earth by large asteroids, and this was indeed a prerequisite for life (perhaps this is what you mean), but this "instant" could easily have been a period of tens of millions of years. Plenty of time of plenty of stuff to have happened.

--

quote:
You can statistically rule out random events even over the very short span of some tens of millions of years as sufficient.

The first replicating systems would have been very simple -- simple enough to have ocurred by random events. Once you have a replicating system, natural selection would then proceed to produce ever more efficient replicators -- a process that is very non-random.

--

quote:
Unless you want to make liars of Crick and Hoyle among many others.

I'm not making liars of anyone. The simple fact is that there is a lot of research going on right this very instant on the question of the origin of life on earth. That Crick and Hoyle were unaware of this research or its implications is not my problem. The fact that you are relying on the non-professional opinions of persons who did no research in the relevant fields is also not my problem. I am merely pointing out the errors in your assumptions and logic as a courtesy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by mihkel4397, posted 02-15-2005 5:21 PM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Quetzal, posted 02-15-2005 8:11 PM Chiroptera has replied
 Message 114 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:28 AM Chiroptera has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5185 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 109 of 138 (185681)
02-15-2005 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Chiroptera
02-15-2005 5:38 PM


Re: there was no "first" life form
Careful amigo. Crick is one of the co-discoverers of DNA, so his field is probably pretty relevant, and he was damn good at it. Hoyle was a brilliant astronomer. However, Hoyle was one of the people that most vociferously propounded the idea of panspermia (although he thought it was comets), and Crick was the most famous advocate of directed panspermia (alien intelligences did it). My understanding is that Leslie Orgel, the co-author of the 1973 Icarus paper on directed panspermia has since become a bit embarrassed about the idea. He apparently has reconsidered (I'll try and find a link to his "recantation of the heresy" later, but I've got to get off the computer for a bit). Of course, even if Orgel still held to the idea, a fair number of the falsifications he provided in that paper have been realized. IOW, the evidence is against directed panspermia.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 5:38 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 9:33 PM Quetzal has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 110 of 138 (185687)
02-15-2005 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Quetzal
02-15-2005 8:11 PM


Thanks for the warning!
Indeed, I know that Crick's work is somewhat relevant to abiogenesis. But if his argument is something on like a complex cell spontaneously appearing all at once is too improbable to contemplate, then he simply did not know the various scenarios that have been proposed. Now, if he actually evaluated the various possible scenarios and, in his professional opinion, found them flawed, that would be something to take into consideration.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Quetzal, posted 02-15-2005 8:11 PM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Quetzal, posted 02-16-2005 10:20 AM Chiroptera has not replied

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6174
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 111 of 138 (185796)
02-16-2005 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by mihkel4397
02-15-2005 5:21 PM


Re: there was no "first" life form
This gives far too little time for random events to combine simple amino acids to single cell organisms with the exqusite genome which is the basis of all present day life.

Aren't you the guy who has been asserting this in all sorts of topics? Or is is just a rash of similar claims? Anyhoe, from Message 1:

"Nobody has enough information to calculate any meaningful probability or required time for life to come into existence by chance. Nobody even has enough information to estimate a probability or required time. Not you, not me, not Jonathan Wells, not Jonathan Sarfati, not the late Sir Fred Hoyle, not Henry Morris, not anybody. We just don't know. We do know that life exists, that many key steps in possible ways that life could have come about are themselves possible and pretty likely under the right conditions, and we do not know of any key steps that are impossible or particularly unlikely. So the jury is still out, but none of the evidence we have indicates that it couldn't have happened."

You can statistically rule out random events even over the very short span of some tens of millions of years as sufficient.

Please show your calculations.

Unless you want to make liars of Crick and Hoyle among many others.

Crick and Hoyle weren't liars; Hoyle was just wrong, and I think you are just minsinterpreting Crick. At least some of the "many others" are liars.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by mihkel4397, posted 02-15-2005 5:21 PM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:42 AM JonF has replied

  
mihkel4397
Inactive Member


Message 112 of 138 (185815)
02-16-2005 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Ooook!
02-15-2005 5:28 PM


Re: That first life form
I should refer you to the literature on the subject. Suffice it here to refer to the Cambrian explosion of life forms 530 million years ago. For 3.3 billion years, life on Earth was confined to primitive single cell organisms, when suddenly, during an amazingly short period of 5 million years, a plethora of species with jointed limbs, internal digestive organs, eyes, mouths, etc. appeared from nowhere. The genome did not come about through random processes over 5 million years; that is statistically absurd. The genome had been dormant for 3.3 billion years - there is no other rational explanation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Ooook!, posted 02-15-2005 5:28 PM Ooook! has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Chiroptera, posted 02-16-2005 11:40 AM mihkel4397 has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5185 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 113 of 138 (185817)
02-16-2005 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by Chiroptera
02-15-2005 9:33 PM


Re: Thanks for the warning!
Good point. Note, however, that the reference that provides the basis for most of the creationist use of Crick's directed panspermia is from 1973. IOW, before a lot of the recent breakthroughs were even considered. I don't think he thought cells came from outer space - that was Hoyle IIRC. Crick thought aliens may have seeded simple self-replicating macromolecules. IIRC, he (and Orgel) used the commonality of DNA as one of the bases for their claim - that if there had been abiogenesis on Earth there would be "other forms" of DNA observable. In point of fact, that's one of the reasons Orgel backed away from the AliensDidIt hypothesis: mtDNA IS a different form of DNA in many ways.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 9:33 PM Chiroptera has not replied

  
mihkel4397
Inactive Member


Message 114 of 138 (185823)
02-16-2005 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Chiroptera
02-15-2005 5:38 PM


Re: there was no "first" life form
I am deeply gratful for your courtesy. It matters little whether the first living organism came about abruptly or gradually, it was still the first. I think you are neglecting the statistics of random events. Tens of millions of years would be woefully insufficient time to produce a life form from basic amino acids. Consider this little example:
Homo Sapiens is considered to be most closely genetically related to the chimpanzee. The first hominid appeared about 7 million years ago.
The most conservative estimates indicate that random mutations of the chimp genome to that of Homo Sapiens would take some 100 million generations or something on the order of a billion years.
I am sure that science is desperately trying to explain the seeming anomalies in the process of evolution, for the religion of science is that random processes simply must explain everything. That is perfectly natural - if a little narrow minded and myopic in nature.


Mihkel

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Chiroptera, posted 02-15-2005 5:38 PM Chiroptera has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by Wounded King, posted 02-16-2005 11:00 AM mihkel4397 has replied
 Message 125 by pink sasquatch, posted 02-16-2005 2:00 PM mihkel4397 has replied

  
mihkel4397
Inactive Member


Message 115 of 138 (185829)
02-16-2005 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by JonF
02-16-2005 9:00 AM


Re: there was no "first" life form
Calculating the likely time requred for random mutations is no mystery. It is up to you to believe what you want, of course.

As for misunderstanding Crick, let me quote him:
"Given the weakness of all theories of terrestrial genesis, directed panspermia should be considered a serious possibility"
That is pretty strong stuff from a totally convinced random process believer.


Mihkel

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by JonF, posted 02-16-2005 9:00 AM JonF has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by JonF, posted 02-16-2005 11:44 AM mihkel4397 has replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3407 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 116 of 138 (185834)
02-16-2005 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by mihkel4397
02-16-2005 10:28 AM


Re: there was no "first" life form
The most conservative estimates indicate that random mutations of the chimp genome to that of Homo Sapiens would take some 100 million generations or something on the order of a billion years.

Care to provide a reference?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:28 AM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by JonF, posted 02-16-2005 11:46 AM Wounded King has not replied
 Message 120 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 11:56 AM Wounded King has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 117 of 138 (185846)
02-16-2005 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by mihkel4397
02-16-2005 10:14 AM


Re: That first life form
For 3.3 billion years, life on Earth was confined to primitive single cell organisms, when suddenly, during an amazingly short period of 5 million years, a plethora of species with jointed limbs, internal digestive organs, eyes, mouths, etc. appeared from nowhere.

This is false. First, there are many examples of multicellular life before the Cambrian -- examples of burrows, tracks, and fossils of the so-called Ediacaran Fauna.

Second, molecular evidence suggests that the major phyla diverged from one another about a billion years ago -- that's rougly 400 - 500 million years before the so-called Cambrian explosian. There was over 500 million years for these different systems to evolve.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:14 AM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 12:43 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6174
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 118 of 138 (185848)
02-16-2005 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by mihkel4397
02-16-2005 10:42 AM


Re: there was no "first" life form
As for misunderstanding Crick, let me quote him:
"Given the weakness of all theories of terrestrial genesis, directed panspermia should be considered a serious possibility"

That doesn't even come close to supporting your claim that "You can statistically rule out random events even over the very short span of some tens of millions of years as sufficient." Sure, we should probably consider panspermia, although most people feel that it just pushes the same problem fartehr back. What relevance does that have to calculations of the probability of life arizing?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 10:42 AM mihkel4397 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by mihkel4397, posted 02-16-2005 12:46 PM JonF has replied

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6174
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 119 of 138 (185851)
02-16-2005 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by Wounded King
02-16-2005 11:00 AM


Re: there was no "first" life form
The most conservative estimates indicate that random mutations of the chimp genome to that of Homo Sapiens would take some 100 million generations or something on the order of a billion years.

Care to provide a reference?

Side bet? I'm taking ReMine.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Wounded King, posted 02-16-2005 11:00 AM Wounded King has not replied

  
mihkel4397
Inactive Member


Message 120 of 138 (185856)
02-16-2005 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by Wounded King
02-16-2005 11:00 AM


Re: there was no "first" life form
Basic References:

M. Radman and R. Wagner, "The High Fidelity od DNA Duplication", Scientific American, August 1988.

Mettler at al, "Population Genetics and Evolution", Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1988.

A scientific, but more popular reference (useful in that it shows a simplified version of the calculation principles):

Gerald L. Schroeder, "The Science of God" pp. 119-123.Broadway Books, 1998.


Mihkel

This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Wounded King, posted 02-16-2005 11:00 AM Wounded King has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by Wounded King, posted 02-17-2005 5:52 AM mihkel4397 has not replied

  
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