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Author Topic:   Darwin- would he have changed his theory?
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 136 of 195 (152337)
10-23-2004 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 4:30 PM


What information?

Snowflakes self-assemble; crystals self-assemble into very complex structures. Neither one of them requires any "information" to do so. We're just talking about chemical reactions, here - chemicals don't need "information", whatever that is, to react.

But snow flakes don't perform functions........living things do. Obviously, first life would have to know how to distinguish between what was food and what was non-food, correct? That's information.

Has anyone ever even built a computer program which simulated first life? Set a timer which deleted the program if it didn't find the right "food" (lines of code)........I'd have to imagine that someone at some point in time has tried this. And if computer programmers can't figure out how to do it, that speaks to the level of information that first life would need just to feed itself, wouldn't it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:30 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:44 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 137 of 195 (152339)
10-23-2004 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:41 PM


living things do.

No. Chemicals react. That's pretty much it.

That's information.

No, that's behavior. And it's something that could arise by trial and error; in other words, by selection.

Has anyone ever even built a computer program which simulated first life?

That would be hard, since, as I've said, we don't know anything about what the first life was.

But yes, computer programs have been written to simulate simple living things. Most famous is Conway's "Game of Life." I suggest you google for it; you can download it and run it on your computer.

What all these simulations tell us is that, thanks to random mutations and natural selection, all kinds of incredibly complex function can evolve and flourish; very simple rules can give rise to incredible complexity, even irreducable complexity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:41 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:52 PM crashfrog has replied

  
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 138 of 195 (152340)
10-23-2004 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 4:39 PM


We don't know what proteins we need, because we don't know how to predict, yet, what the function of a protein will be from it's genetic representation.

It's called the "folding problem." Proteins do what they do because they take a certain shape. We have a very limited ability to predict how a protein will fold because it's a very, very complicated interaction of literally thouands of atoms.

Soooooo, that means we HAVEN'T decoded the code of life, or whatever you wanna call it........because we don't know what the function of each protein is, right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:39 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:55 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

  
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 139 of 195 (152342)
10-23-2004 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 4:44 PM


No, that's behavior. And it's something that could arise by trial and error; in other words, by selection.

It couldn't have been the result of natural selection, because first life would need to know how to find food.......that's part of the definition of life. It must be able to metabolize, reproduce annnnnd a third one I forget now.

But yes, computer programs have been written to simulate simple living things. Most famous is Conway's "Game of Life." I suggest you google for it; you can download it and run it on your computer.

Were there a lot of lines of code required to program it? Because that's how much info (whether you want to refer to it as info or not) would have to be present in first life........so, first life occuring would be the equivilant of all those lines of code writing themselves.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:44 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 5:02 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 140 of 195 (152345)
10-23-2004 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:48 PM


Soooooo, that means we HAVEN'T decoded the code of life, or whatever you wanna call it

Buddy, what did you think I just showed you? That table is the genetic code. As you can see, it's pretty simple. A certain sequence of nucelotides gives you a certain sequence of amino acids, which is a protein. Couldn't be more straightforward.

because we don't know what the function of each protein is, right?

I'm fairly sure we know the functions of at least most of the proteins in the human body, or in any body.

What we can't do, but we're working on, is designing our own proteins from scratch, or predicting the function of a given amino sequence. But that's proteinomics. You were talking about genomics. At this point, we're way past discussions of "information", because the genome doesn't encode for function, it encodes for proteins. The "information" in the genome is simply amino acid sequences. The function of the protein is based on its shape, and the laws of physics. At that point, no information is required - just as a snowflake doesn't need information about its shape to form.

It's just the laws of physics.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:48 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:02 PM crashfrog has replied
 Message 143 by Coragyps, posted 10-23-2004 5:03 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 141 of 195 (152347)
10-23-2004 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:52 PM


It couldn't have been the result of natural selection, because first life would need to know how to find food

The first life would have been surrounded by "food": precursor molecules it would have used to replicate. It's only in our evolved world where finding food is a challenge. As finding "food" became harder, evolution stepped in to provide solutions to the problem.

Were there a lot of lines of code required to program it?

It takes more lines of code to write the interface for the program than to model the game itself. The game has very simple rules and a very simple data space. All in all, one of the implementations of the game comes in at a little under 300k.

The game itself has only three rules:

quote:
The Rules
The Game of Life was invented by John Conway (as you might have gathered). The game is played on a field of cells, each of which has eight neighbors (adjacent cells). A cell is either occupied (by an organism) or not. The rules for deriving a generation from the previous one are these:

Death
If an occupied cell has 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 occupied neighbors, the organism dies (0, 1: of loneliness; 4 thru 8: of overcrowding).

Survival
If an occupied cell has two or three neighbors, the organism survives to the next generation.

Birth
If an unoccupied cell has three occupied neighbors, it becomes occupied.


From these three rules, a vast variety of complex behaviors can evolve.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:52 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:09 PM crashfrog has replied

  
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 142 of 195 (152348)
10-23-2004 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 4:55 PM


What we can't do, but we're working on, is designing our own proteins from scratch, or predicting the function of a given amino sequence. But that's proteinomics. You were talking about genomics. At this point, we're way past discussions of "information", because the genome doesn't encode for function, it encodes for proteins.

Gotcha......so, we haven't really decoded the code of life, whatever that may be called.......


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:55 PM crashfrog has replied

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 Message 144 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 5:05 PM SirPimpsalot has taken no action
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 143 of 195 (152349)
10-23-2004 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 4:55 PM


I'm fairly sure we know the functions of at least most of the proteins in the human body, or in any body.

I'd have to partially, at least, disagree. We likely know one or two sort of obvious functions for a large number of proteins in our bodies, but that is liable to be only a tiny fraction of all the various things some of them do. And I would be surprised if we have any more than a description like "olfactory receptor" for the majority of the 25,000(??) proteins our bodies make.

We're quite a ways from Frankenstein.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 4:55 PM crashfrog has replied

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 144 of 195 (152352)
10-23-2004 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 5:02 PM


Gotcha......so, we haven't really decoded the code of life, whatever that may be called.......

I don't seem to be getting through to you.

We have decoded the "code of life." Here it is again, for your reference:

The code of life is just that simple.

What we haven't been able to do is predict protein function from protein sequence. But that's not a "code" of any kind; that's just the laws of physics.

All the genetic code does is catalyze amino acid synthesis. That's it. What proteins wind up doing is a function of the laws of physics. No code involved.

The only "code of life" is the one I've showed you, twice now.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 145 of 195 (152353)
10-23-2004 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 5:02 PM


Gotcha......so, we haven't really decoded the code of life, whatever that may be called...

You haven't "got" anyone. If we had The Whole Enchilada figured out, all those molecular biologists would be asking "Would you like fries with that?" Instead, they're busily trying to find out things - science does that, y'know.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 146 of 195 (152354)
10-23-2004 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Coragyps
10-23-2004 5:03 PM


We likely know one or two sort of obvious functions for a large number of proteins in our bodies, but that is liable to be only a tiny fraction of all the various things some of them do.

True enough - the function of a given protein is limited only by its shape and the laws of physics. They don't really "do" anything; it's the laws of physics that do all the "doing."


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SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 147 of 195 (152355)
10-23-2004 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by crashfrog
10-23-2004 5:02 PM


The first life would have been surrounded by "food": precursor molecules it would have used to replicate.

But first life would need to do more than just replicate, as it would have to metabloize in order to be defined as life.......

From these three rules, a vast variety of complex behaviors can evolve.

Oh yeah, I recognize that now..........but the organisms in that game aren't a serious attempt at making virtual first life......or, if they are, then it just goes to show how complex first life would need to be, as the function of the organisms isn't nearly as complex as the functions of first life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 5:02 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:13 PM SirPimpsalot has replied
 Message 149 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 5:14 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

  
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 148 of 195 (152357)
10-23-2004 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 5:09 PM


Ok, ok, enough of this technical talk.........if I could "decode" French, that means I could manipulate French in order to write a book in French........if we had the "code of life" decoded (and I don't care whether it's genes or proteins or what), we should be able to manipulate it into creating life.

The fact that we obviously don't have it figured out shows how complex the code it.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:09 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

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 Message 151 by crashfrog, posted 10-23-2004 5:18 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 700 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 149 of 195 (152358)
10-23-2004 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 5:09 PM


But first life would need to do more than just replicate, as it would have to metabloize in order to be defined as life.......

Well, when we're talking about the first living thing, we're at some pretty blurred boundaries for what is alive and what is not.

At any rate, these precursor molecules would have been both the source of the energy for replication and the material used to replicate. That's replication and metabolic activity in one single step.

Oh yeah, I recognize that now..........but the organisms in that game aren't a serious attempt at making virtual first life

Conway's game is just the first attempt, I believe, from the 70's. There's a considerable body of work in computer modelling artifical life. I suggest you look some up; it's an afternoon's worth of fun.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:09 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:23 PM crashfrog has replied

  
SirPimpsalot 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 150 of 195 (152359)
10-23-2004 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 5:13 PM


And don't tell me it's not a code, Crash, because do you have any idea how many lines of code are present in my computer, which is far less complex than ME.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 5:13 PM SirPimpsalot has taken no action

Replies to this message:
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