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Author Topic:   Transition from chemistry to biology
greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 388 of 415 (514748)
07-11-2009 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 385 by onifre
07-10-2009 4:22 PM


Re: Eternal Life
I was reading, I think in Science News. They had an interesting article about the rise of iron and the drop in nickel as the world became oxygenated. A more important article was about the RNA world that has been postulated. The theory is that the four RNA building blocks spontaneously formed. Later, the four kept combining in various chains until a self replicating chain formed. Later, after RNA life was well established, DNA life formed, used some of RNA life's tools and otherwise took over. They are chipping away at proving the steps. They have now managed to "spontaneously" form two of the four basic RNA building blocks. Since it requires them to purify the sample at several steps, it is not quite like the conditions of early earth. Still they have progressed farther than with the other two. Currently, though, it is a faith step to say that the long self replicating molecule formed spontaneously, just as it is a faith step to say that God guided the formation of the combination that became self replicating. Until we have proof, either statement is a faith step (or an unproven hypothesis, if you will.) I am enjoying reading about the different theories of the constitution of the early atmosphere, and the various proposed sites for the formation of life (tide pools, Hot Springs, Mid oceanic ridge hot spots) Though some early theories have been proven wrong, we seem to be getting closer to the conditions that nurtured life.

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Replies to this message:
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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 390 of 415 (514838)
07-13-2009 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 389 by Peepul
07-13-2009 7:25 AM


Re: Eternal Life
Some things, like the self assemblage of the building blocks may be provable, while others, such as the development of long chain RNA that is self replicating, may be unprovable how it happened. Anything ultimately unprovable becomes an unprovable hypothesis, or a faith step.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 392 of 415 (514840)
07-13-2009 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 391 by Peepul
07-13-2009 9:38 AM


Re: e: Eternal Life
You were making the assumption that the progress of science will find an answer which may or may not be the same as the hypothesis. I was pointing out that there may not be an answer and therefore in those cases, my statement held true.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 395 of 415 (514884)
07-13-2009 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 393 by onifre
07-13-2009 1:08 PM


Re: Eternal Life
You are extending the idea too far. I know that the combination of events that created a stable earth are extremely rare. It is only the double planet system of the earth and moon that makes it stable enough for complex life. We have shown how that happened on the computer. There is so much more that is unique about our solar system that had to happen to allow complex life like mammals. Still, is that just random events that pop up around the rare star? I was reading on the multiverses in Discover magazine. where they were discussing this problem. If it is just random, that does not affect my faith in God. If God guided the collision, PTL. In the same way, proving abiogenesis would not prove or disprove God. At the moment, we can just say, "I believe it was random events." or "I believe it was guided by God." Some of the hypothesis will never be proven and they will stay at this belief level. Some things, like the RNA

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 396 of 415 (514885)
07-13-2009 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 393 by onifre
07-13-2009 1:08 PM


Re: Eternal Life
...RNA building block (cytosine?) have recently been proven that they can self assemble, as I stated.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 397 of 415 (514886)
07-13-2009 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 394 by CosmicChimp
07-13-2009 2:38 PM


Re: hypothesis
I am a chemist. I have a very good idea what a hypothesis is. Until proven, if possible, it can be stated "My hypothesis is that RNA self assembled around black smokers." This might or might not be faith. Many people might really be saying, "It could have happened here or at tide pools, but I don't know." Once you decide that it must be one way, you are saying, "I believe it happened this way." Saying, it could not have happened with God's guidance, is such a belief statement.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 400 of 415 (514890)
07-13-2009 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 398 by onifre
07-13-2009 6:53 PM


Re: Eternal Life
First, we need a sun producing a habitable amount of light, not red dwarfs or the Blue giants. Then, Terrestrial planets need to be in the habitable zone. So far, we have done a better job of showing Jovian planets in the hot zone but too close to the habitable zone to allow a terrestrial planet there. The solar system also needs a flyswatter, ie Jupiter, in the right place to sop up comets, else we would still be getting too many dinosaur killer comet strikes to allow the more complex life, according to planet scientists. The main problem is that the planet to moon ratio is usually on the order of Mars to Phobos. It is extremely difficult for an earth to capture a moon the size of ours. It computer simulation is the only one so far that does so and agrees with the rest of the facts, such as the moon having no heavy core. Without the moon, the earth would wobble from upright to lying on its side and scientists say that would make complex life impossible. I have a feeling that we will find extremely few systems with all these qualities. All I have seen on planetary statistics says the chances are very small.
Which hypothesis specifically?

I can't state which ones will remain unprovable. One can guess. The assemblage of all the building blocks into a self-replicating chain looks like a better candidate. You could call it a gaps theory, but I am not going so far. I am just stating that we don't know and can't say at this time. We can just say, "I believe it happened this way."

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 403 of 415 (514902)
07-13-2009 8:47 PM
Reply to: Message 401 by onifre
07-13-2009 7:42 PM


Re: Eternal Life
Back to the transition from chemistry to biology. Scientists have done an amazing job of showing the self assemblage of a variety of chemicals. I was not stating that the next transition, from the building blocks of RNA to self replicating RNA was done by God. I was just challenging you to prove that it could not have had God's touch in that event, or even show that you have a chance to prove that it did not.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 406 of 415 (514959)
07-14-2009 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 404 by Peepul
07-14-2009 7:48 AM


Re: hypothesis
Just glad that you admitted that
Science cannot say it could not have happened with God's guidance, and it does not claim that.
With that in mind, I follow the scientific debate about exactly how life came out of a bunch of chemicals. I enjoyed reading how scientists have managed self assembly of two of the four bases of RNA, Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Uracil. Though it required purification steps not expected to have occurred in the early earth, it is a step forward. Where this might have occurred and under what atmospheric conditions are still interesting areas of study. Again, as long as we do not try to use this to prove atheism or theism, I am content with the science.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 409 of 415 (514966)
07-14-2009 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 405 by Perdition
07-14-2009 12:22 PM


Re: Eternal Life
You bring up some good points but even if we expand the possibilities as you suggest, it limits the possibilities severely. One point is that the ratio of the weight of the largest Jovian moons to Jupiter is close to 1/20,000. All four gas giants range 5/10,000 to 1/ 40,000. The ratio of the moon to Earth is 1.2/100, making the normal capture method impossible, making an earth moon system rare.
Another point is that for life on a moon of a gas giant, the gas giant would have to be in the habitable region of the sun, and the moon would have to be in the habitable region of the gas giant. Some of the moons receive too much radiation.
Worlds circling red dwarves might receive too little radiation for life. Red dwarves are typically old and might have formed when there were too few heavy metals. With lower radiation levels, if life formed, it might take much longer to evolve, so newer red dwarves might not have advanced life or even any life yet. I am sure that there are other constraints. that I haven't mentioned or scientists haven't thought of. This makes the transition from chemistry to biology a very rare event. As you have pointed out, the rarity depends on certain assumptions, but it will be rare. I think it will be rarer that you think.

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 Message 405 by Perdition, posted 07-14-2009 12:22 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 410 of 415 (514968)
07-14-2009 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 408 by Perdition
07-14-2009 1:27 PM


Re: hypothesis
However, the fact that everything we once attributed to a god or gods is being replaced by a naturalistic process implies that gods are not only irrelevant to science

no problem here.
but unecessary to life the universe and everything. Now, they could still exist, there's just no reason to think they do.

you are going beyond the question of science: the transition of chemistry to biology. Here you are beginning to say more than science says.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 413 of 415 (514993)
07-14-2009 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 411 by Perdition
07-14-2009 2:04 PM


Re: Eternal Life
Scientists have calculated the enrichment of carbon per supernova cycle. Ancient stars have gone through fewer cycles of supernovas. An ancient Red Dwarf would be very poor in carbon content (oxygen and Nitrogen, too.) Carbon based life that we are looking at would have been unable to form at too low of levels. Again, scientists have calculated the situation at the Jovian moons. Many Jovian moons are subject to lethal levels of radiation from Jupiter, especially the ones close enough to receive tidal heating. We are just beginning to understand the special conditions on earth needed to allow the four RNA bases to form on earth. Heat and radiation are just two of the constraints. Even if a Jovian moon might achieve the conditions in a different way, the conditions would be rarely achieved. We just need one condition to be missing from say Titan to prevent life from having arisen there. As we learn how to self assemble the four basic blocks of RNA, in an open system, and not in a lab condition needing purification, we can then state the range of conditions under which RNA "life" could occur. Whether you use an earth around a sun like ours, a red dwarf, or a moon of Jupiter, we need those conditions. They are hard to achieve. Show me exactly how you get them around a Jovian moon. Show me the calculations: Sufficient warmth, non-lethal but sufficient radiation, sufficient carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, a reducing, mathane(?) atmosphere, a long term water environment, and any other constraints that the lab results say are necessary. Again, I want calculations because we know some about what the conditions are, so we can calculate many of the factors.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 1843 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


Message 414 of 415 (514995)
07-14-2009 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 411 by Perdition
07-14-2009 2:04 PM


Re: Eternal Life
You are right about the moon. Basic life, the subject of this thread might be able to occur without the stabilizing moon. Scientists say that advanced life would be impossible with an earth that wobbles. And it would wobble faster than it would be possible for migratory life to arise. Since it might be possible for the transition from Chem to Bio without the moon, this is outside this thread.

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