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Author Topic:   The first life
Thanos6
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 30 (62447)
10-23-2003 9:47 PM


This, to me, is the weakest point of all evolutionary theories that try and exclude divine intervention. The bio textbooks all deny, and quite rightly, the existence of spontaneous generation. But then they do a bit of a backstep and say "except in the case of the very first life form."

Maybe it's just the way I'm viewing things, but science requires that you have a theory that is always right. As soon as it's wrong, even just once, you have to revise it or totally throw it out.

It just seems to me that for abiogenesis (if that's the right term) to have happened exactly ONCE in the history of the world (as the theory of common descent requires) and never again, without the hand of God intervening, is a bit farfetched.

Thoughts?

------------------
"When mankind falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born."

-Professor Hayashida, Godzilla 1985


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2003 9:56 PM Thanos6 has not yet responded
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 Message 29 by tsjok45, posted 10-31-2003 5:19 AM Thanos6 has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 30 (62448)
10-23-2003 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thanos6
10-23-2003 9:47 PM


The bio textbooks all deny, and quite rightly, the existence of spontaneous generation.

Not really. All that Pasteur proved was that it doesn't happen with nearly the frequency that was assumed under the current thought; i.e. that rotting meat was all you needed to give rise to maggots, etc. He never proved that it can't happen.

It just seems to me that for abiogenesis (if that's the right term) to have happened exactly ONCE in the history of the world (as the theory of common descent requires) and never again, without the hand of God intervening, is a bit farfetched.

It's not that it happens once, and never again. It's that once it happens - once life really takes off - it can never happen again. Proto-life can't compete with real-life, and so it never gets a chance.

I would have thought this was obvious.


This message is a reply to:
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Thanos6
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 30 (62452)
10-23-2003 10:09 PM


*smacks self in head*
quote:
It's not that it happens once, and never again. It's that once it happens - once life really takes off - it can never happen again. Proto-life can't compete with real-life, and so it never gets a chance.

I somehow always manage to overlook the, er, tiny gaps in my theories.

Thanks for the handy hypothesis, frog. I stand corrected.

-Thanos6 (wedging his mind a bit opener)

------------------
"When mankind falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born."

-Professor Hayashida, Godzilla 1985


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8839
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 4 of 30 (62465)
10-23-2003 10:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thanos6
10-23-2003 10:09 PM


Re: *smacks self in head*
And as an addition, we should note that deciding that everywhere there is an unknown there God hides isn't really very sophisticated theology either. The obvious problem is when the unknown moves to known you have a picture of God scuttling like a little crab to another dark corner to hide again.

Not knowing how something occurs is not a great reason for concluding that God did it. For some reason this is is used as an argument by some.


This message is a reply to:
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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 30 (62482)
10-23-2003 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
10-23-2003 10:27 PM


Re: *smacks self in head*
That is well and good for God to scuttle into dark corners.It gives us a chance to light candles and avoid the cursing.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by NosyNed, posted 10-23-2003 10:27 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 30 (62657)
10-24-2003 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
10-23-2003 10:27 PM


Re: *smacks self in head*
"Not knowing how something occurs is not a great reason for concluding that God did it. For some reason this is is used as an argument by some."

Infinitely stranger are those that not knowing how something occurs and not knowing of any natural mechanism that could possibly account for it yet vehemently and dogmatically insist that this is precisely how it did occur, i.e., naturally and without requiring a Creator. How in heaven's name do they think to get away after pulling a stunt like that?

Joralex


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 Message 4 by NosyNed, posted 10-23-2003 10:27 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Rei
Member (Idle past 5094 days)
Posts: 1546
From: Iowa City, IA
Joined: 09-03-2003


Message 7 of 30 (62668)
10-24-2003 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Joralex
10-24-2003 7:28 PM


Re: *smacks self in head*
Ah, Joralex, Prophet of the God of the Gaps.

Once upon a time, there were two camps of scientists when it came to the age of the universe. The geologists insisted that the world's age was measured in the billions. All of their evidence pointed to it. The astronomers, however, insisted that Earth's age was in the millions. All of their evidence pointed to it. The difference couldn't be reconciled.

What was wrong? Well, the astronomical model for how the sun formed and released heat was only partially right. All calculations showed that it was impossible to be just a big ball of fire; it had to be something more. However, the concepts of fission and fusion were unknown at the time. Their model was gravitational collapse - which actually does power stars in their early stages, but can't last for more than a few million years.

All of the sudden, fusion was discovered. Suddenly, everything *fit*. They looked again at the spectral readings from the stars, and realized that they fit with fusion. They did the math, and fusion would mean that, for the sun to get its current composition, it would have to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The sun's magnetic field was explained. All sorts of things just suddenly "clicked". Science has had numerous moments like this.

In modern day, the basic physical laws are largely very well understood (although we're still searching for that unifying theory...) So, for the most part, that which is not yet known is that for which there is not enough computing power to fully simulate. That's a pretty small gap to stick your God into.

------------------
"Illuminant light,
illuminate me."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Joralex, posted 10-24-2003 7:28 PM Joralex has responded

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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 17 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 8 of 30 (62676)
10-24-2003 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by crashfrog
10-23-2003 9:56 PM


If I may elaborate a little more, what Pastreur and others showed is that known, existing life does not spontaneously form from inanimate matter. You need flies to make more flies, and mice to make more mice.

Crashfrog's other point is well made - abiogenesis has not been ruled out - just that one needs special conditions that do not exist in rotting meat. Also, the life that would arise, should the "experiment" be run again, would not be any of the species that we know.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2003 9:56 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 17 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 9 of 30 (62678)
10-24-2003 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thanos6
10-23-2003 9:47 PM


quote:
This, to me, is the weakest point of all evolutionary theories that try and exclude divine intervention.

Are you implying that you accept evolution if it includes divine intervention?

quote:
It just seems to me that for abiogenesis (if that's the right term) to have happened exactly ONCE in the history of the world (as the theory of common descent requires) and never again, without the hand of God intervening, is a bit farfetched.

Well, scientists are trying to create conditions where life will arise from non-living chemicals. Right now there are a lot of unknowns about the process, but it's possible that someday, through experimentation, that abiogenisis WILL happen again, in someone's lab.
This message is a reply to:
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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 30 (62679)
10-24-2003 10:09 PM


I wanted throw in a question about abiogenesis that is left out in all the debate here.Just exactly how would we know it if we did come across it?Is the life form that began animal and plant life necessarily the same one that would present itself since the conditions for that life form are no longer present in the enviroment of modern times?
Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Coragyps, posted 10-24-2003 10:48 PM sidelined has responded
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5377
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 11 of 30 (62683)
10-24-2003 10:48 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by sidelined
10-24-2003 10:09 PM


The only way we'd know for sure we had something alive would be to watch it metabolise and reproduce - if that's even a sufficient definition of "living." I would guess that the "soup" that an experimenter started with would constrain the life that grew out of it to something sort of familiar to a biochemist, but replicating our present (or past) life's workings exactly or even closely seems hugely improbable.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by sidelined, posted 10-24-2003 10:09 PM sidelined has responded

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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 30 (62693)
10-25-2003 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Coragyps
10-24-2003 10:48 PM


Ok let us work on this.With abiogenesis should we be
looking for the combination of non living chemicals that under the right conditions that produced life forms in ancient atmospheres we are familiar with or hypthosize a different set of chemicals with which we could produce life under any given definition of such in the enviroment we exist in today?
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Yaro
Member (Idle past 4577 days)
Posts: 1797
Joined: 07-12-2003


Message 13 of 30 (62702)
10-25-2003 5:08 AM


What is life anyway?
Isn't life at it's core, just an incredibly complex set of chemical reactions?

We only draw the line on what is life and non-life because we impose our interpretation on it. Fact is, it's no diffrent than anything else. We are all just clumps of interacting chemicals doing what chemicals do according to the fundamental laws of the universe.

Thus, abiogenisis is not an issue. We made up the concept of life, there is nothing unusual about a chemical chain reaction that got a little outta hand and spawnd a conciousness

On a side note, dosn't it seem that the more you peel away the fabric of the universe, the more abstract and arbitraty it becomes? Makes you really question whats so diffrent about the world out there, than the world in your head.

[This message has been edited by Yaro, 10-25-2003]


  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3953 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 14 of 30 (62707)
10-25-2003 5:58 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by sidelined
10-25-2003 12:37 AM


Hey sidelined,

I think what Coragyps was getting at was that if something that has characteristics of life (whatever those might be) is at some point produced under lab conditions, it's highly unlikely that what was produced would be exactly like what really happened. IOW, they might produce "life", but not necessarily (or even probably) "our" sort of life. All those experiments will show is that abiogenesis works. Not which particular replicator actually produced the LUCA on earth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by sidelined, posted 10-25-2003 12:37 AM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by sidelined, posted 10-25-2003 2:01 PM Quetzal has responded

  
Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 30 (62712)
10-25-2003 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Rei
10-24-2003 8:17 PM


Re: *smacks self in head*
Ah, Joralex, Prophet of the God of the Gaps.

Ah, Rei... Prophet of Scientism.

Once upon a time,

Good start, Rei... most fairy tales do begin with "once upon a time".

there were two camps of scientists when it came to the age of the universe. The geologists insisted that the world's age was measured in the billions. All of their evidence pointed to it. The astronomers, however, insisted that Earth's age was in the millions. All of their evidence pointed to it. The difference couldn't be reconciled.

What was wrong? Well, the astronomical model for how the sun formed and released heat was only partially right. All calculations showed that it was impossible to be just a big ball of fire; it had to be something more. However, the concepts of fission and fusion were unknown at the time. Their model was gravitational collapse - which actually does power stars in their early stages, but can't last for more than a few million years.

All of the sudden, fusion was discovered. Suddenly, everything *fit*. They looked again at the spectral readings from the stars, and realized that they fit with fusion. They did the math, and fusion would mean that, for the sun to get its current composition, it would have to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The sun's magnetic field was explained. All sorts of things just suddenly "clicked". Science has had numerous moments like this.

So what? As observations mount we are bound to be able to make more 'connections'. Since when is that equal to 'understanding'?

In modern day, the basic physical laws are largely very well understood (although we're still searching for that unifying theory...)

You clearly don't know much about these things, do you, Rei?

We "understand" NOTHING. We have merely accumulated enough observations/experience to become adequate technicians (but not always and sometimes not so adequate). In time we will become better technicians but this is an infinite cry from true understanding.

So, for the most part, that which is not yet known is that for which there is not enough computing power to fully simulate. That's a pretty small gap to stick your God into.

This is a joke, right? By any chance, am I on Candid Camera?

Don't you know that we are completely clueless on even the fundamental entities of science let alone the complex systems involving these entities?

I'll wager that you don't even know what I'm talking about, am I right?

Joralex


This message is a reply to:
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