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Author Topic:   Has there been life for 1/4 of the age of the Universe?
Fosdick 
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Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 91 of 114 (370923)
12-19-2006 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by ringo
12-19-2006 2:05 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Ringo, re:

I have already said: the "abiogenic principles" are the principles of chemistry.

Boy, that's a relief! Because we do indeed know a great deal about chemistry. Now, with regards to abiogenic principles, could you bother to mention a few? I'm most inetersted in the homological ones—you know, the ones that taught DNA molecules how to communicate from one generation to the next using a coded language of three-letter words with a 4^3 geometry that neatly comprises a genetic dictionary. That was amighty slick trick for chemicals!

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 2:05 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 3:25 PM Fosdick has responded
 Message 93 by Woodsy, posted 12-19-2006 3:30 PM Fosdick has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18332
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 92 of 114 (370932)
12-19-2006 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Fosdick
12-19-2006 2:49 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Hoot Mon writes:

... the ones that taught DNA molecules how to communicate from one generation to the next using a coded language of three-letter words with a 4^3 geometry that neatly comprises a genetic dictionary.

We've been through that before, in this thread or another. Where is your evidence that there is a "language" above and beyond the normal bump and grind of chemical interactions?


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 2:49 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 4:30 PM ringo has responded

  
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1925 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 93 of 114 (370936)
12-19-2006 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Fosdick
12-19-2006 2:49 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Yes, it was slick indeed, but so what? Once there is replication with variation, no matter how simple the system, selection can rachet up the complexity.

You seem to be misleading yourself with your anthropomorphic phrasing. With the right start, even a very simple one,the process can look after itself. No teaching is needed and the process need not start with complex components.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 2:49 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 4:42 PM Woodsy has responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 94 of 114 (370961)
12-19-2006 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by ringo
12-19-2006 3:25 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Ringo, re:

Where is your evidence that there is a "language" above and beyond the normal bump and grind of chemical interactions?

You are not going to succeed with the geneticists with an attitude like that, and they have something important to say. They freely speak of a
genetic language and look for ways to write new scripts and make changes in genes and alleles. But I know you're a stickler about words, like "probably" vs. "maybe" vs. "perhaps." What about this "bump and grind" business? Should I not likewise challenge the clattering metaphores of your mechanics? And what makes you say that chemistry is mechanical, anyway? I thought it was chemical. Oh well, just words and metaphors.

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 3:25 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 5:25 PM Fosdick has responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 95 of 114 (370965)
12-19-2006 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Woodsy
12-19-2006 3:30 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Woodsy, re:

You seem to be misleading yourself with your anthropomorphic phrasing. With the right start, even a very simple one,the process can look after itself. No teaching is needed and the process need not start with complex components.

Demonstration please. It it were this simple then life would be just an gadget and abiogensis would be a self-starting manufacturing "process that can look after itself." Could you be more specific with "the right start"? How about "the right stuff"?

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Woodsy, posted 12-19-2006 3:30 PM Woodsy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Woodsy, posted 12-19-2006 5:15 PM Fosdick has responded

  
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1925 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 96 of 114 (370969)
12-19-2006 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Fosdick
12-19-2006 4:42 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
It it were this simple then life would be just an gadget and abiogensis would be a self-starting manufacturing "process that can look after itself."

That is how I see it. Why not?

Could you be more specific with "the right start"? How about "the right stuff"?

The "right stuff" would be a self-replicating molecule that could form in the conditions of the early earth. I understand that there are chemists busy looking for such molecules. One should not expect the search to be easy, though. Organic chemistry is complicated stuff and the earth was early a long time ago.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 4:42 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 7:23 PM Woodsy has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18332
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 97 of 114 (370975)
12-19-2006 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Fosdick
12-19-2006 4:30 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Hoot Mon writes:

You are not going to succeed with the geneticists with an attitude like that, and they have something important to say. They freely speak of a genetic language and look for ways to write new scripts and make changes in genes and alleles.

It's one thing to use a language to describe what is happening. You seem to be insisting that the language prescribes what is happening - i.e. the events can not happen without the magic of language.

And what makes you say that chemistry is mechanical, anyway? I thought it was chemical.

Chemistry is "chemical" on the level of buckets and beakers. On the molecular level, it's decidedly mechanical. Tab A fits into slot B and it don't need no instruction book to tell it so. It's just *bump* and yer hooked up.

Just curious, do you know anything about chemistry at all? Because you seem to look at it from a Brothers Grimm viewpoint.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 4:30 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 7:40 PM ringo has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5123
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 98 of 114 (370989)
12-19-2006 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Fosdick
12-17-2006 8:16 PM


Cyborgs-R-Us

AZPaul3, you advised:


Patience, patience, Hoot. It’s been a long haul, I know, and we have much further to go. Much has been learned in the last 50 years and, if you’re a Ray Kurzwiel fan, ya gotta know that knowledge will more than double in the next 15!

Yes, and I can feel that Singularity crushing down on us like a big, ominous thing, but I doubt if I will live long enough to see what happens when the computers takeover.

Ahh, but we will be the computers and the computers will be us. Nano-infested human cyborgs complete with the entire world's knowledge and a 'soul' I can share with anyone I so desire. My bones will be wrapped in carbon composites. My synthetic heart will be forever powered by ATP produced from my diet of fried chicken and chocolate ice cream while my synthetic digestive tract takes only what I need, ditches the fat and the cholesterol in little pellets that I poop, while my synthetic blood collects what little oxygen there may be left on the planet to power me all day long in one breath while I peruse the GlobalNet with my thoughts. Imagine all the spam?

Speaking of the "Game of Life," have you tried using rule 245/24? Makes some purrty pictures. Start with a 5x5 block. The symmetry is amazing. Then do the same with some asymmetrical form. You still get a discernible “eye” in the center. Now try 2 symmetries on the same page and see what happens to the eyes as they merge. Then 2 asymmetries. Then the biggie: try one of each. Interesting stuff. Proof that simple deterministic rules can yield…what? Randomness? At least something very close.

Your contention that a ‘language’ of abiogenesis is needed may be correct, but, if so these same simple rules would apply equally well anywhere, including earth? Yes?

Edited by AZPaul3, : well, let me see. Hmmm, I fixed a boo-boo, then I fixed another boo-boo, then I added something.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Fosdick, posted 12-17-2006 8:16 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 8:01 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded
 Message 112 by Fosdick, posted 12-22-2006 12:21 PM AZPaul3 has responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 99 of 114 (370996)
12-19-2006 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Woodsy
12-19-2006 5:15 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Woodsy, re:

The "right stuff" would be a self-replicating molecule that could form in the conditions of the early earth. I understand that there are chemists busy looking for such molecules. One should not expect the search to be easy, though. Organic chemistry is complicated stuff and the earth was early a long time ago.

I agree with all you say here. I'm just hooting over the fact that scientists don't yet know the origin of those "self-replicating molecules" (which happen to hold the genes). It seems obvious to me that they were not here when Earth accreted. Those molecules and their precious messages came about a billion years later. Something that we fail to grasp allowed them to get a foothold. Was it chemical? (The chemists seem to thing so.) I badly want to know what that is, or was, and I'll put up with any kind of ridicule to get there.

—Hoot Mon


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 Message 96 by Woodsy, posted 12-19-2006 5:15 PM Woodsy has not yet responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 100 of 114 (370997)
12-19-2006 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by ringo
12-19-2006 5:25 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Ringo asks:

Just curious, do you know anything about chemistry at all? Because you seem to look at it from a Brothers Grimm viewpoint.

I am probably vastly inferior to you on a scale of chemistry acuity (but I'm ready to go one-on-one with you and your molecules over a beer or two sometime.) And, yes, the Grimm Brothers and the woo-woos are helpful and comforting to me, especially now when the chemists can't explain those chemical bump and grinds of abiogenesis.

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 5:25 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 7:58 PM Fosdick has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18332
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 101 of 114 (371003)
12-19-2006 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Fosdick
12-19-2006 7:40 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Hoot Mon writes:

I am probably vastly inferior to you on a scale of chemistry acuity

Not necessarily. The last time I studied chemistry, there were only four elements in the periodic table. But I do get the impression that I'm a page ahead of you in the textbook. :)

... especially now when the chemists can't explain those chemical bump and grinds of abiogenesis.

It's a good thing you weren't around a few hundred years ago when they couldn't even explain something like 2H2 + O2 --> 2H2O.

Give them a chance. The science of chemistry is a lot less than 1/4 the age of the Universe.

Edited by Ringo, : Spellin.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 7:40 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Fosdick, posted 12-19-2006 8:12 PM ringo has not yet responded
 Message 104 by Fosdick, posted 12-20-2006 4:08 PM ringo has responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 102 of 114 (371004)
12-19-2006 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by AZPaul3
12-19-2006 6:42 PM


Don't need no stinkin' synthetic blood.
AZPaul3, you wrote:

Ahh, but we will be the computers and the computers will be us. Nano-infested human cyborgs complete with the entire world's knowledge and a 'soul' I can share with anyone I so desire. My bones will be wrapped in carbon composites. My synthetic heart will be forever powered by ATP produced from my diet of fried chicken and chocolate ice cream while my synthetic digestive tract takes only what I need, ditches the fat and the cholesterol in little pellets that I poop, while my synthetic blood collects what little oxygen there may be left on the planet to power me all day long in one breath while I peruse the GlobalNet with my thoughts. Imagine all the spam?

I'm hoping for an eternity of digital Martinis and virtual shuffleboard...where chickens don't have to be fried and ice cream never melts.

Speaking of the "Game of Life," have you tried using rule 245/24? Makes some purrty pictures. Start with a 5x5 block. The symmetry is amazing. Then do the same with some asymmetrical form. You still get a discernible “eye” in the center. Now try 2 symmetries on the same page and see what happens to the eyes as they merge. Then 2 asymmetries. Then the biggie: try one of each. Interesting stuff. Proof that simple deterministic rules can yield…what? Randomness? At least something very close.

Thanks. I'll be going over to Conway's site soon to check it out. (Too bad Ringo didn't take the bait.)

Your contention that a ‘language’ of abiogenesis is needed may be correct, but, if so these same simple rules would apply equally well anywhere, including earth? Yes?

Oh, yes!

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by AZPaul3, posted 12-19-2006 6:42 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 103 of 114 (371005)
12-19-2006 8:12 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by ringo
12-19-2006 7:58 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Ringo, re:

The last time I studied chemistry, there were only four elements in the periodic table. But I do get the impression that I'm a page ahead of you in the textbook.

It's a good thing you weren't around a few hundred years ago when they couldn't even explain something like 2H2 + O2 --> 2H2O.


Wow! That's wet and heavy!

Give them a chance. The science of chemistry is a lot less than 1/4 the age of the Universe.

Enough with the excuses! I want those principles, and I want them now!

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 7:58 PM ringo has not yet responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 104 of 114 (371195)
12-20-2006 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by ringo
12-19-2006 7:58 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Ringo wrote, regarding the chemists' search for principles of abiogeneis:

Give them a chance. The science of chemistry is a lot less than 1/4 the age of the Universe.

So, bravely, I’ll make a stab at answering my own challenge to specify the physicochemical principles of abiogenesis. I have to agree with Ringo that whatever happened to originate life (either on Earth or elsewhere) certainly must have involved chemistry and thermodynamics, and very possibly nothing more than that. My issue has been that those kinds of principles alone do not provide the answers I’m looking for—genes don’t have thermodynamic principles because they are merely digital information. But then I’m forced back to what I learned in P-Chem and Biophysics, namely those remarkable principles of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the maximization of order.

Indeed more complex arrangements of chemicals can come about as the comprising system advances into non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Prigigone’s dissipative structures have been clearly modeled and demonstrated. Before that, Harold Morowitz et al. added much to what Schrödinger had said earlier about energy flow in biological life. Morowitz (1968, Energy Flow In Biology) writes lucidly about the ordering function L as a biosystem advances toward non-equilibrium (∆A ) at some kinetic temerature (T’):

L = ∆A(T’)/kT’,

where k is Boltzmann’s constant. For this relationship Morowitz specifies four properties:

1. It has a zero value for equilibrium systems.

2. It associates order with distance from equilibrium.

3. It is dimensionless.

4. It can be represented using probability theory and information theory.

Now, Morowitz shows that L’ (L multiplied by Planck’s constant h) represents a ratio of energy to rate:

L’ = ∆A/(kT/h).

He goes on to argue that this ordering principle applies to chain-extending bonds in carbon chemistry: “The existence of chain-extending bonds increases L for another reason. The function has a ∆S (change of entropy) as well as a ∆U (change in internal energy) part, and the ∆S is, in general, lowered by chain formation leading to a positive value of -T∆S and an increase in L. In ordinary biological systems, order as thermodynamically defined corresponds to macromolecular complexity.”

Without knowing much about the chemical conditions attending abiogenesis, we might already have physicochemical principles that favor the storage of linear information on macromolecules (i.e., genes). So there are well-reason principles concerning chemical bonding that seem to support the incipient ordering of nucleotides on DNA that eventually lock in as digital instructions for mechanical operations. The only thing these principles don’t explain to me is how such a maximization of ordered nucleotides can result in a non-stereochemical "language" (at least from a geneticist's woo-woo POV).

—Hoot Mon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by ringo, posted 12-19-2006 7:58 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 18332
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 105 of 114 (371199)
12-20-2006 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Fosdick
12-20-2006 4:08 PM


Re: And the principles are...?
Hoot Mon writes:

genes don’t have thermodynamic principles because they are merely digital information.

Huh? Genes are "stored" on DNA molecules, are they not? Arrangements of atoms in DNA molecules, are they not? How do they not "have" thermodynamic principles?

Edited by Ringo, : Spelling.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Fosdick, posted 12-20-2006 4:08 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Fosdick, posted 12-20-2006 7:06 PM ringo has responded

  
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