The Instigator
MagicAintReal
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Grovenshar
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Abiogenesis Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 968 times Debate No: 90431
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (44)
Votes (0)

 

MagicAintReal

Pro

*1st round is acceptance.
*Definitions below are agreed to by accepting the debate.


Full Resolution
Abiogenesis is sound.

Pro
Has the BoP and 3 sets of 10,000 characters with 3 days to post per argument to AFFIRM that abiogenesis is sound and refute Con.

Con
Has also 3 sets of 10,000 characters with 3 days to post per argument to NEGATE that abiogenesis is sound and refute Pro.


Definitions

abiogenesis - organic molecules and subsequent simple life forms, on earth, first originated from inorganic substances.
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

sound - based on reason, sense, or judgment.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...


life - the condition that distinguishes animals, plants, fungi, protista, archaea, and bacteria, from inorganic matter, including the capacity for metabolism and reproduction.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for accepting the debate.



*Resolution*
I affirm that abiogenesis is sound, because:

1. With an atmosphere, water salinity, inorganic compounds, electricity, and UV rays likely of a prebiotic earth, inorganic compounds can naturally become organic compounds in the form of amino acids.
http://www.pnas.org...

2. Amino acids make up proteins, in chains called polypeptides, and the sequence of the amino acid chain causes the polypeptide to fold into a shape that is biologically active.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

3. Biologically active amino acid sequences can in fact metabolize compounds.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

4. Amino acids are catalysts, because they tend to increase the rate of chemical reactions, and in a prebotic network full of amino acids, RNA can emerge due to its auto-catalytic property.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

5. RNA is also self-replicating, and because of this, was able to thrive in a prebiotic amino acid network.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

6. With biologically active amino acid chains and self-replicating RNA, membranes can form, which all combined forms a protocell.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

7. Protocells can metabolize with amino acids and replicate with RNA, and this is the origin of genetic polymers.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

8. A protocell with a membrane and genetic polymers that can metabolize and self replicate is a full blown living cell, and these single cells are life; they're simple life, but they're life.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

9. These simple life forms would need to eventually consume more, and the network of amino acids and other compounds in the region were in fact edible.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

10. Given all of this evidence, abiogenesis is sound.

Inorganic compounds of a prebiotic earth can be come organic amino acid compounds, which themselves can become biologically active and can catalyze reactions that favor an emergence of auto-catalytic RNA, which can self-replicate and thus allow for a cell with a membrane and genetic polymers that replicates and metabolizes available compounds in the prebiotic network.


*Explanation of Abiogenesis*

1. Inorganic-->Organic Amino Acids

Compounds covalently (sharing electrons) bonded to carbon are organic.
Compounds not covalently bonded to carbon are inorganic.

Inorganic = H N C O (cyanate)
Organic = C 2 H 5 N O 2 (glycine, an amino acid)

You can tell that the difference between inorganic and organic carbon compounds is rather insignificant.
One more carbon atom, four more hydrogen atoms, and one more oxygen atom...that's it.

The Miller-Urey experiment in the 50's demonstrated that with an atmosphere, water salinity, electricity, and inorganic compounds likely of an earlier earth, inorganic compounds will produce organic amino acid compounds.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

That's what abiogenesis is...the idea that inorganic compounds can become organic compounds.


2. Replication of Inorganic-->Organic Amino Acids

Though people agreed that lightning occurs without life and in atmospheres on other planets, people still complained that the atmosphere of earlier earth had more oxygen than the Miller-Urey experiment accounted for.
The replicated experiments of the Miller-Urey took that into account, and used:

1. H2, CH4, NH3, H2O, H2S and electricity, and yielded the amino acids cysteine, cystine, and methionine.
2. CH4, C2H6, NH3, H2S and UV rays, and yielded alanine, glycine, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and cystine.
3. CH4, H2O, H2S, NH3, N2, and electricity, and yielded methionine.

"When reduced gases, including CH4, H2S and NH3, are emitted from a volcano into a lightning-rich atmosphere, hydrogen cyanide, ethylene, and acetylene can be generated."
http://www.pnas.org...

So we know that amino acids, organic compounds, can come from inorganic compounds.
But what about genetic replication?


3. Amino Acids-->Biologically Active Network

Amino acid chains (polypeptides) can fold onto themselves and become biologically active.
"The sequence of nucleotides in DNA has now been converted to the sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Yes, amino acids fold onto themselves and become biologically active and functional.

So we have biologically active amino acids...how do they replicate?
Well amino acids tend to speed up reactions; they're catalysts.
So before there was life, there were pre-biotic catalysts, amino acids.

"catalysis in a pre-biotic network initiated...the emergence of RNA as the dominant macromolecule due to its ability to both catalyze chemical reactions and to be copied in a template-directed manner."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

So, from inorganic compounds of earlier earth, we got organic amino acids, which, when folded, become biologically active, and can catalyze reactions that lead to the emergence of RNA, which is necessary for genetic replication.


4. RNA network-->Cells

In this pre-biotic network, any encapsulation of the amino acids and RNA would act as a membrane, thus would suffice as a protocell, but because this encapsulation concentrated replication, it allowed for genetic polymers, which makes it a full blown living cell.

"We have proposed that a simple primitive cell, or protocell, would consist of two key components: a protocell membrane that defines a spatially localized compartment, and an informational polymer that allows for the replication and inheritance of functional information...protocells could take up nutrients from their environment...[allowing for] chemical genome replication and compatibility with membrane encapsulation."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

5. Primitive Cellular Life Must Consume

Any primitive organism would be replicating with RNA and metabolizing with amino acids, but what might they be consuming?

"Sixty years after the seminal Miller-Urey experiment that abiotically produced a mixture of racemized amino acids, we provide a definite proof that this primordial soup, when properly cooked, was edible for primitive organisms."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


*Affirm*
So, I affirm that abiogenesis is sound, because there's so much converging evidence that indicates such.
On to you Con...
Grovenshar

Con

I will first go over my own case, and then I shall move onto my opponents.

1. Archea are the simplest form of life on earth, largely thought to be the bridge between the first bacteria and modern bacteria. The absolute simplest of these bacteria is the nanoarcheum equitans, whose DNA contains 537 protein encoding genes.

Source - http://www.pnas.org...

2. For reference, the average yeast protein is 466 amino acids long. That's par for the course in protein size.

Source - Lodish H, Berk A, Matsudaira P, Kaiser CA, Krieger M, Scott MP, Zipurksy SL, Darnell J (2004). Molecular Cell Biology (5th ed.). New York, New York: WH Freeman and Company.

3. There are a total of 25 unique amino acids related to the 64 codons.

Source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

4. The enzyme Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase needs to exist in order for cell production to take place.

Source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

5. To create even the simplest form of life on the planet today, assuming that yeast proteins are of average size, would take 527 unique proteins of 466 amino acids in length means that (527 x 466) 245,582 amino acids would have to end up in the right order, which, with a total of 25 unique amino acids, means that roughly 1 out of 25 reactions would occur that didn't restart the entire progress. Statistically speaking, that means the chances of abiogenesis would occur properly 1 out of 25 to the 245,582nd power, or, as my calculator puts it, error times. In addition to this, for this lifeform to live for any amount of time would require Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase to reproduce its proteins, otherwise it would eventually stop supporting itself.

Source - Analysis of prior data

Opponent's Case:
There are two problems with my opponents case.

First, the definition of life, which should be "the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death" (Oxford Dictionary). Secondarily, under their explanation of abiogenesis, the change from RNA network to cell(s).

As has been already discussed, the chances of a cell forming on its own are microscopic in scale. However, for the sake of argument, and for argument's sake alone, I will accept that a single cell could have possibly formed in an unstable environment that would constantly be breaking the bonds between acids due to frequent moving and bombardment by UV radiation. However, there can only be one cell. Any more would require a miracle, which no longer falls under the category of abiogenesis. So, we have our one cell. Unfortunately, the process by which a cell reproduces, reproduction being necessary to define life, is dictated by a complex, and I mean very complex, series of chemical signals, that have been refined over billions of years of evolution, that involve literally ripping the cell into two pieces and equally dividing the various organelles. Our protocell didn't have these years. There is, in fact, no guarantee that this protocell even had the capacity to reproduce without outside stimuli. Therefore, because the ability to reproduce is necessary to the definition of life, we must conclude that this protocell can't be defined as life, and therefore, abiogenesis, as my opponent has proposed, does not actually lead to life, or a sustainable fascimile of life.

I await the reply from my opponent.

Sidenote
If the information found upon wikipedia isn't found satisfactory, than I shall find a source that is. However, I do believe that wikipedia is mostly reliable in this area, therefore I will require it as the bare minimum for the two of us.
Debate Round No. 2
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for that response.

*Simple Life*

Con points out:
"Archea are the simplest form of life on earth, largely thought to be the bridge between the first bacteria and modern bacteria."

My response:
Great.
These archaea are not the first living cell or even the first bacteria, instead, according to Con, they are the bridge between the first bacteria and modern bacteria.
With abiogenesis, we're talking about the origin of life, not the origin of the bridge between old an new bacteria.
Archaea may be the simplest form of life on earth today, but if they are the bridge between old and new bacteria, then they cannot be the origin of life, so their DNA's contents of 537 protein encoding genes are largely irrelevant to the first cell's contents.


*Protein Size*

Con gives us a reference:
"The average yeast protein is 466 amino acids long. That's par for the course in protein size."

My response:
Yeast is a fungus, and again, not the origin of life.
That's great that the average yeast protein is 466 amino acids long, but this is largely irrelevant to the first cell.
Yeast is much more evolved than any first cell would be.

Con adds:
"There are a total of 25 unique amino acids related to the 64 codons."

My response:
Great.
Why was this mentioned?
Any of 23 amino acids can combine to form polypeptide chains, and many of these were yielded in the Miller-Urey experiments.


*Cell Reproduction*

Con furthers:
"The enzyme Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase needs to exist in order for cell production to take place."

My response:
Directly from the source provided by Con,
"Certain organisms can have one or more aminoacyl tRNA synthetases *missing*. This leads to charging of the tRNA by a chemically related amino acid."
https://en.wikipedia.org...

So, Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase can be absent, and tRNA can be charged chemically by amino acids, negating Con's claim that "Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase needs to exist."


*Stats And Such*

Con gets mathy:
"To create even the simplest form of life on the planet today, assuming that yeast proteins are of average size, would take 527 unique proteins of 466 amino acids in length...that means the chances of abiogenesis would occur properly 1 out of 25 to the 245,582nd power, or, as my calculator puts it, error times."

My response:
As pointed out earlier, the amino acids and unique proteins for current fungi and bacteria are IRRELEVANT to the first living cell, which would be far more primitive than either of those organisms, so Con's "statistics" can be dismissed as incongruous to the topic at hand, the origins of life.

Con then adds:
"In addition to this, for this lifeform to live for any amount of time would require Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase to reproduce its proteins, otherwise it would eventually stop supporting itself."

My response:
Con, you neglected your own source!
How do you reconcile that there are organisms that can charge the tRNA by chemically related amino acids instead of Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase?
https://en.wikipedia.org...


*Con's Problems*

Con complains:
"There are two problems with my opponents case. First, the definition of life, which should be..."

My response:
Woah, woah, woah.
Con, you accepted this debate, correct?
Well, in the first round it clearly states, "Definitions below are agreed to by accepting the debate."
Therefore Con agreed to the definitions of life and abiogenesis.

The only definition of life SHOULD BE the definition we both agreed to...the one in the first round of this debate.
Challenging agreed to definitions was lame, Con...really lame.

Con takes issue:
"Secondarily, under [Pro's] explanation of abiogenesis...the chances of a cell forming on its own are microscopic in scale."

My response:
I particularly hate this argument, because it's after the fact probability.
Did you know that Obama's chance to win the presidency for his first term started off at near 1 in 3,000?
Who cares? It already happened.
Life has already originated, so speculating on the odds of its origins is not indicative of anything useful/relevant.

Even if we accept Con's statistical analysis of the microscopic chances of a cell forming on its own, which I do not for reasons provided earlier, the microscopic chances aren't zero...the conjured up stats indicate that cells had a chance to form on their own.


*Con's Concession*

Con concedes:
"I will accept that a single cell could have possibly formed in an unstable environment that would constantly be breaking the bonds between acids due to frequent moving and bombardment by UV radiation...so, we have our one cell."

My response:
I agree, and that one cell qualifies as life, because it had the ability to metabolize with amino acids and replicate with RNA in a template-directed manner, which matches the AGREED TO definition of life in this debate.

This affirms the resolution that abiogenesis is sound AND that the origin of life is a result of this sound concept.
Thanks, Con.
Grovenshar

Con

First off, I will apologize for my challenging of the definition of life. For some reason, I thought that you're definition of life didn't include the ability to reproduce, which is an absolute necessity to defining life. With that out of the way, let's move onto the meaty bit.

Archea:
When I talk about Archea being the bridge between modern bacteria, that is a simplification. "Some publications suggest that archaeal or eukaryotic lipid remains are present in shales dating from 2.7 billion years ago;" Archea are living fossils. They do show an accurate picture of what life 3.5 billion years ago, the first life, might have looked like. They may be more complex, but that is very limited in nature. They are the only reference to go on, and we should accept them as such. If we didn't accept archea as evidence, we couldn't accept many forms of evidence.

Source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

Defense of Protein Size:

So, my opponent points out that yeast does not equal early "life". He says "Yeast is much more evolved than any first cell would be." This is true. However, the smallest protein known to man is the length of 20 amino acids. It's found in the saliva of Gila Monsters. That isn't useful to the first form of life in any way shape or form. So, for the sake of having any kind of argument, let's settle on the number of, say, 100 amino acids. I say 100 because most of the polypeptides of less than 100 are more useful for causing chemical reactions and breaking proteins apart. Once again, not useful to a delicate cell.

Source - http://www.rcsb.org...
Source - https://www2.chemistry.msu.edu...

Codons and Amino Acids:

You ask "Why was this mentioned?"
I mentioned it because it would be useful for the math I was going to do later.

Cell Reproduction:

"Certain organisms can have one or more aminoacyl tRNA synthetases *missing*. This leads to charging of the tRNA by a chemically related amino acid."

When you use that quote to say that my argument "The enzyme Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase needs to exist in order for cell production to take place." is invalid, you fail to realize the innate folly of your argument. That quote that you bring up from my source only shows that the cell has coordination and an ability to respond to a situation that it shouldn't be in. That is, however, a modern cell. Nothing like the first cell, at all. That first cell wouldn't have the instructions necessary to pull of such a complicated maneuver. To say otherwise is to contradict yourself.

Stats and Such:

I will maintain that the 527 protein figure is accurate. It is the closest estimate we can have as to the number of proteins in the cell.
As for the number of amino acids per protein, I have revised that to 100.
FInally, seeing as I confused you the first time around, lets talk about that 1 out of 25 thing. There are a total of 25 unique amino acids. For a viable protein to be formed requires each amino acid that bonds to the last to be the right one. The odds, seeing as we don't know the exact quantity of each amino acid during the time, will be estimated to 1 out of 25.
Now, to do the math, we must multiply 527 total proteins by 1 out of 25 to the 100th power. Like this:

527 * (1/25)^100

That should give us the rough probability of a cell being created, which still comes to error. If you still find error in my numbers, than I shall say that you are once again refusing to accept evidence. Continuing to do so should qualify a loss on your part, seeing as this is an evidence based debate.

Cell Reproduction, Again:

Once again, my opponent states that I neglected my source. To reiterate, I didn't. The functions pro is attributing to this ancient cell are found in modern, coordinated cells. They are not one and the same and should not be considered as such.

My Second Issue:

When I point out that the chances are microscopic, I point out that it may happen once, but it couldn't happen twice.
Besides, the situation that you say is analogus to our current situation has odds of 1 in 3,000, as opposed to what we currently have from the statistics section which is several thousand times larger.
The point I am trying to make is that the method of life coming into the world is statistically improbable, to say the least.
That should be grounds to reconsider and find a new theory. To not do so is to refuse to be scientific.
Also, the argument that "Life has already originated, so speculating on the odds of its origins is not indicative of anything useful/relevant." is an argument I personally despise. Speculating the odds of origin is a necessity. Theories should be built around fact, not fact built around theory. To blindly stumble forward and declare abiogenesis as the only explanation, rather than a theory with flaws, is illogical and ignorant. You are ignoring that the entire point is to prove whether or not abiogenesis is a sound theory, which it decidedly isn't. Just because it's the only theory doesn't make it a sound one. Years ago, people believe that things spontaneously generated, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that masturbation makes you go blind. None of those are sound, and neither is abiogenesis.

My Concession:

I conceded, only for the sake of this debate, that a single cell might, and I say might for a reason. form in highly unstable conditions. However, even if it did, it wouldn't qualify as life.
The definition of life, as agreed upon, is "the condition that distinguishes animals, plants, fungi, protista, archaea, and bacteria, from inorganic matter, including the capacity for metabolism and reproduction."
I once again contest that this cell could not reproduce and form another cell. It doesn't have the instructions necessary, nor does it have the instructions required to make the proteins necessary for reproduction, presumably through mitosis, which literally involves ripping the cell into two pieces in a coordinated fashion.

Conclusion:

There is no chance that a cell could be formed in the conditions prescribed. However, even if one did, it wouldn't be capable of reproduction, and, therefore, does not fit into the agreed definition of life. Abiogenesis is statistically impossible and can't explain the ability for the cell to reproduce. Ergo, abiogenesis and the origin of life posed by pro can't be accepted as anything more than untenable conjecture.

Thanks, Pro
Debate Round No. 3
MagicAintReal

Pro

I affirm that abiogenesis is sound, because amino acids come from inorganic substances likely of a pre-biotic earth, and the resulting amino acid network allowed for the emergence of RNA, which, when encapsulated with amino acids by a primitive membrane, functioned as the first living cell that could metabolize with amino acids and replicate with RNA.

But you know how Con is...

*Final Rebuttals*

Con has attempted to show that because so many proteins are needed by archaea's DNA, the same must be true of the first cell, and this somehow fits into Con's probability argument.

Con has stated:
"the absolute simplest of these bacteria is the nanoarcheum equitans, whose DNA contains 537 protein encoding genes... thought to be the bridge between the first bacteria and modern bacteria...that is a simplification...Archea are living fossils...they do show an accurate picture of what life 3.5 billion years ago, the first life, might have looked like. They may be more complex, but...they are the only reference to go on."

My response:
Con has now stated that archaea are not the first life, they're the bridge between old and new bacteria and they may be more complex than the first life, so we can dismiss Con's 537 protein encoding genes, because as Con puts it, "they may be more complex" and they are not the first life.


Con adds:
"So, my opponent points out that yeast does not equal early "life". He says "Yeast is much more evolved than any first cell would be." This is true."

My response:
Great, we agree, so Con's mention of yeast's amino acid contents also does not apply here.


Con furthers:
"However, the smallest protein known to man is the length of 20 amino acids. It's found in the saliva of Gila Monsters. That isn't useful to the first form of life in any way shape or form"

My response:
This is a bare assertion.
Con doesn't explain why 20 amino acids *isn't* useful for the first form of life, they just assert it, and as I pointed out, biologically active amino acids can metabolize energy and *this* would be useful for the first life, irrespective of the more recent, complex organism, the Gila Monster.


Con suggests:
"So, for the sake of having any kind of argument, let's settle on the number of, say, 100 amino acids."

My response:
No.
We're not just going to settle on some arbitrary number because it will help you run your probability argument.
Con's probability argument has already been negated by Con's concession that "a single cell could have formed" as abiogenesis explains AND by the fact that Con concedes that "polypeptides of less than 100 are more useful for causing chemical reactions and breaking proteins apart," which is part of primitive metabolism.

Why are "chemical reactions and breaking apart proteins...once again, not useful to a delicate cell," Con?
The first cell heavily relied on both of those things, and both of those things are under your 100 number...


Con has stated:
"The enzyme Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase needs to exist in order for cell production to take place...my source only shows that the cell has coordination and an ability to respond to [lacking aminoacyl tRNA synthetases]."

My response:
Con tried to show that, without the particular tRNA called aminoacyl synthetase, the first cell could not reproduce, but instead, Con concedes that cells can respond to this lack of particular tRNA, and Con's source shows that cell production can still occur given this lack.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

So, Con decides to try a different approach and say that, cells may not need that particular tRNA, but dealing with the lack of that particular tRNA is a complex cell function, not indicative of the first cell.


Con adds:
"Nothing like the first cell, at all...that first cell wouldn't have the instructions necessary to pull of such a complicated maneuver."

My response:
You neglect your source Con.
Your source said that chemically related amino acids take over the particular tRNA's function in the cell, and do you know what's a major component of a pre-biotic, catalytic network that you conceded the first cell could have emerged from?
Amino acids.
Particularly, those that match with RNA, are the very ones generated by the switch from inorganic-->organic compounds, which would be abundant in this pre-biotic network of amino acid catalysts.


Con then talks in maths (Radiohead reference):
"For a viable protein to be formed requires each amino acid that bonds to the last to be the right one. The odds, seeing as we don't know the exact quantity of each amino acid during the time, will be estimated to 1 out of 25."

My response:
The odds, seeing as we don't know the exact quantity of each amino acid during the time, ARE USELESS!

Aside from being after-the-fact probability, Con openly admits that we don't know the number of amino acids at the time, so an estimation 1 out of 25 isn't any more reasonable than an estimation of 25 out of 25 being the odds.

Con your reasoning is, "we don't know the exact quantity of amino acids, therefore here's a BS estimate of 1 out of 25?"
Come on Con.


Con continues:
"Now, to do the math, we must multiply 527 total proteins by 1 out of 25 to the 100th power. Like this:
527 * (1/25)^100"

My response:
Now do the math like this:
incongruous number of protein encoding genes * (BS estimate) ^ arbitrary number of amino acids
What does that equal?
Con's crappy probability argument, that does way more assuming than actual demonstrating likelihoods of abiogenesis.

Side note, Con, you originally said, in round 1, the number was 537, not 527 as you said in your last round, but you're just making BS numbers up anyway, so no harm no foul.


Con restates:
"The [production of more cells without that particular tRNA] pro is attributing to this ancient cell are found in modern, coordinated cells. They are not one and the same and should not be considered as such."

My response:
But your source Con...your source!
Your source says that amino acids satisfy this function you've arbitrarily called "complex," with amino acids that would be there in the pre-biotic network you've conceded could have emerged the first living cell. It mentions nothing about this being a complex function exclusive to modern cells; only you have asserted it.


Con concedes again:
"When I point out that the chances [of abiogenesis] are microscopic, I point out that it may happen once"

My response:
So you agree that abiogenesis-->first cell was not only possible, but that it may have happened once, Con?
Great.
Seems sound to me.


Con furthers:
"The method of life coming into the world is statistically improbable...that should be grounds to reconsider and find a new theory"

My response:
OK, let me get this straight.
Con, you agree that a cell could have emerged in the way abiogenesis was described in this debate, you concede it may have happened once, yet you think it's time for a new theory?
The evidence indicates it, Con concedes it, yet it needs to be reconsidered...I'm baffled.


Con mentions:
"Speculating the odds of origin is a necessity."

My response:
Really? Speculating?
Just guessing at odds is a necessity?
Without evidence, speculating at odds is not only useless, it's nothing.

But, I'll give Con what he wants.
In my speculation, the odds were 15/31 that life emerged from abiogenesis because of 15 and 31 were my speculation...ahh there, now I feel better, since i speculated the odds, I don't need to reconsider abiogenesis.


Con marinates in his concession:
"I conceded...that a single cell might...form in highly unstable conditions...it wouldn't qualify as life... this cell could not reproduce and form another cell."

My response:
Con has given us no reason to doubt my source that the first cell would have been metabolizing with amino acids and replicating, in a template directed manner with RNA, instead, Con just asserts that the cell could not reproduce.
What, in the source below, is wrong about the first cell replicating with RNA, Con?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


Con contradicts himself.

Earlier, in round 3, Con says:
"I conceded that a single cell might form in highly unstable conditions."

Later, in round 3, Con says:
"There is no chance that a cell could be formed in the conditions prescribed."

My response:
I'll let the voters wade through this egregious contradiction, and I will also remind voters that my sources were never questioned and I maintain that they are valid and reliable.

So, when Con says it's all untenable conjecture, he's given us no reason to think any of my sources are such.

Thanks, Con.
Vote Pro.
Grovenshar

Con

Let me start off with this. My opponent has shown a lack of respect, an unwillingness to actually read what I said in order to consider it, but, rather, to read selectively for his own purposes, he does not understand the art of writing, in it of the fact that he can't understand what hyperbole is, and he doesn't even understand basic biochemistry, because he doesn't understand how cell reproduction works. So, I'm going to provide a video that is simple enough for him to grasp (https://www.youtube.com...). Now, I will move on from the abuse that my opponent has so kindly lavished upon me.

*Archea (again):*

"Con has now stated that archaea are not the first life, they're the bridge between old and new bacteria and they may be more complex than the first life, so we can dismiss Con's 537 protein encoding genes, because as Con puts it, "they may be more complex" and they are not the first life."

This is true. Archea are not the first form of life. However, my opponent has made assertions about what the original cell will have done to reproduce, exist, and even its form. He knows nothing about this cell, but he, and his sources, have made assertions about something they can't observe may have looked like. I at least give something that can be used for reference. I even used the simplest cell known to man. This is the only absolute model.

*Size of Proteins:*

"Con doesn't explain why 20 amino acids *isn't* useful for the first form of life, they just assert it, and as I pointed out, biologically active amino acids can metabolize energy and *this* would be useful for the first life, irrespective of the more recent, complex organism, the Gila Monster."

Did I mention that this protein was found in saliva? This would literally be ripping things apart. That is definitely not useful to life. I thought that this was self evident, but it apparently isn't.

"No.
We're not just going to settle on some arbitrary number because it will help you run your probability argument.
Con's probability argument has already been negated by Con's concession that "a single cell could have formed" as abiogenesis explains AND by the fact that Con concedes that "polypeptides of less than 100 are more useful for causing chemical reactions and breaking proteins apart," which is part of primitive metabolism"

Let me tell you something right now. There's a difference between metabolism and self destruction. Having something that literally tears proteins apart without an efficient return of energy does not lead to life. Instead, it leads to death.

*Ability to Reproduce:*

"You neglect your source Con.
Your source said that chemically related amino acids take over the particular tRNA's function in the cell, and do you know what's a major component of a pre-biotic, catalytic network that you conceded the first cell could have emerged from?
Amino acids.
Particularly, those that match with RNA, are the very ones generated by the switch from inorganic-->organic compounds, which would be abundant in this pre-biotic network of amino acid catalysts."

You neglect my source pro. Amino acids aren't the only thing necessary. You need ATP, PPi, and AMP to do this. Want to know where that comes from? That comes from a complex process where you literally have a cell using multiple enzymes that have been directed by the cell to even start the process. Also, enzymes were also needed to pull off this reaction, enzymes that are regulated by the cell, otherwise the cell becomes bloated and explodes (or implodes, depending on the concentration gradient).

*Stats and Stuff:*

"The odds, seeing as we don't know the exact quantity of each amino acid during the time, ARE USELESS!

Aside from being after-the-fact probability, Con openly admits that we don't know the number of amino acids at the time, so an estimation 1 out of 25 isn't any more reasonable than an estimation of 25 out of 25 being the odds.

Con your reasoning is, "we don't know the exact quantity of amino acids, therefore here's a BS estimate of 1 out of 25?"
Come on Con."

Want to know why I had that 1 out of 25? There are a total of 25 amino acids. Therefore, a protein being made up of successive amino acids in the right order should imply that when amino acids are bonding, to get the right order of amino acids takes 1 out of 25 amino acids to be the right one in the right place.

"Now do the math like this:
incongruous number of protein encoding genes * (BS estimate) ^ arbitrary number of amino acids
What does that equal?
Con's crappy probability argument, that does way more assuming than actual demonstrating likelihoods of abiogenesis.

Side note, Con, you originally said, in round 1, the number was 537, not 527 as you said in your last round, but you're just making BS numbers up anyway, so no harm no foul."

My opponent hasn't listened to me at all. He doesn't even understand where these numbers come from, much less why I put them together. The equation should be 537 * (1/25) ^ 100. 537 is the number of proteins required to make the cell. Given that the average length of an actually useful protein that contributes more than destruction masquerading as metabolism is 100, than we just have to calculate the odds of the one right amino acid, out of 25 total amino acids, being next in the chain of our polypeptide. Putting those numbers together, we have our equation.

"So you agree that abiogenesis-->first cell was not only possible, but that it may have happened once, Con?
Great.
Seems sound to me."

I agree that a single cell, with completely misshapen proteins and no actual way to reproduce, may have existed, FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT. I will stress that. My opponent conveniently omits that from this round in order to paint a picture of me that just isn't true. My opponent has employed the strawman logical fallacy.

"Really? Speculating?
Just guessing at odds is a necessity?
Without evidence, speculating at odds is not only useless, it's nothing.

But, I'll give Con what he wants.
In my speculation, the odds were 15/31 that life emerged from abiogenesis because of 15 and 31 were my speculation...ahh there, now I feel better, since i speculated the odds, I don't need to reconsider abiogenesis. "

What is this "Without evidence" that my opponent speaks of? Well, it applies to both pro and con. Neither side has access to when or how life started, that's why we're having this debate. Therefore, the fact that my opponent places his entire argument on conditions and chemical reactions that he cannot guarantee should tell you a lot. At least I am using the closest possible reference cell, a length for the proteins, and an understanding of how statistics work.

*Various and Sundry "Incongruencies"*

"OK, let me get this straight.
Con, you agree that a cell could have emerged in the way abiogenesis was described in this debate, you concede it may have happened once, yet you think it's time for a new theory?
The evidence indicates it, Con concedes it, yet it needs to be reconsidered...I'm baffled."

I concede that we are debating. Therefore, I allow a hypothetical situation to exist in order to push forward a second point. However, because I only agreed hypothetically in order to have an actual debate, something my opponent doesn't want, I can remove myself from the hypothetical at any point in time. Understand?

"Con contradicts himself.

Earlier, in round 3, Con says:
'I conceded that a single cell might form in highly unstable conditions.'

Later, in round 3, Con says:
'There is no chance that a cell could be formed in the conditions prescribed.' "

Have you ever heard of hyperbole (see also, exxageration). It's a rhetorical device that is commonly used in order persuade. As for the first quote, see my previous explanation.

*Final Conclusion:*

My opponent has failed to clash properly with my arguments, whereas, I was clashing with him during the entire debate. Instead of taking the time to read and learn about this topic, he just threw sources at it and assumed he was right. So, just to reiterate, here is what I've said:

1) The chances of a functioning cell actually forming from a pool of amino acids exposed to UV radiation, unstable climates, small proteins capable of ripping apart chemical bonds, and astronomically high requirements to be a cell are very, very, very, very low. I can't stress this enough.

2) Even if this cell somehow formed (for the sake of argument), it would lack the instructions, coordination, and energy to reproduce.

My opponent failed to do more than insult me when attacking my first point. As for my second point, my opponent brought up my source over and over again, saying that it proved me wrong. He didn't even understand it.

So, given all the evidence presented, the only way to vote is con. I have proven my points, which directly clash with my opponents. Rather than clash back, my opponent insulted my argument. He attempted to actually debate, but he utterly failed to do so.

Thanks Pro for a decent debate.
Debate Round No. 4
44 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Fair.
Posted by Grovenshar 9 months ago
Grovenshar
Well, here's the thing. The information is accurate. If I were to cite a different source, that would only lead to more questions about the accuracy of information. It's wonderful to have trustworthy sources, and, for the limited scope of this type on online debating, a wiki article will do fairly well. Now, would I cite it for a 14 page research paper? Probably not. But, this is informal, so, I think that an accurate and easy to read source is probably the best source.
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Exactly.
Wiki typically sources the science things they put in articles, so just use it as a baseboard from which to jump to the primary source.
Posted by Chaosism 9 months ago
Chaosism
And I've also heard that the science information is pretty well regulated. But, even due to the connotations alone, I would avoid Wiki as a source. Maybe use the sources that Wiki cites.
Posted by Chaosism 9 months ago
Chaosism
That's an interesting article. Two things I took from that:

"This difference shows that Wikipedia is not always the best resource to draw complete information from, but it always provides over two thirds of the whole story."

And: "The only problem I have with this study is the sample size. Of course, it"s a tough analysis to conduct, but 100 drugs is still not enough to draw definite conclusions."
Posted by Grovenshar 9 months ago
Grovenshar
For the record, Wikipedia is actually an accurate source 99.7% of the time.

http://www.zmescience.com...
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Thanks for the RFD, it is appreciated Chaosism.
Yeah, I've had to make the elo requirements higher to stop vote terrorists who just try to give me losses.
You provided an awesome RFD, so thank you.
Posted by Chaosism 9 months ago
Chaosism
This RFD is "just because" because I do not meet this debate's requirements to cast an official vote.
Posted by Chaosism 9 months ago
Chaosism
=+= Reason for Decision: Part 2 =+=

Pro"s initial step-by-step argument for abiogenesis is concise and well-supported by sources, and plainly leads to the affirmation of the resolution. Con"s case consists of main counter-arguments regarding archea, yeast, probability, and reproduction. Pro quickly highlights that archea and yeast are far more evolved than the first form of life would be, rendering them irrelevant to the matter at hand. Con asserts back that although this is not the first form of life, it does provide a reference, and that Pro asserts to know about the first cell. However, Pro"s initial argument provided a reasonable explanation as to how this cell could have formed; certain knowledge of the actual cell is not possible nor necessary. Additionally, Pro addresses the probability aspect of Con"s argument stating that since life as already occurred, the probability of the event is irrelevant. Con pushes probability in two parts of the debate, but Pro has expressed the flaws in the assumptions and the overall irrelevance. Con"s argumentation regarding reproductions appears to highlight the complexity of cell-division and reproduction in modern cells, which Pro refutes by highlighting aspects of Con"s own source. In the final round, Pro makes some advances in this argument towards the complexity and additional requirements of the process, but it lacks support which renders it mere assertion. A good deal of Con"s arguments could have benefited from the support of a reliable source. Overall, Pro"s arguments and rebuttals held the resolution; Arguments to Pro.
Posted by Chaosism 9 months ago
Chaosism
=+= Reason for Decision: Part 1 =+=

Con has a few S/G mistakes, but not to any significant level as to hinder readability; S/G is a tie. In R3, Pro asserts that Con had conceded, and presents a quote of Con"s in the previous round. However, Pro omits the beginning of the statement, "However, for the sake of argument, and for argument"s sake alone"" which clearly indicates the intent. I believe that Pro"s distortion (which may have been unintentional) and further assertion of this statement was reflective of poor conduct, so Conduct to Con. The strength of sources lied overwhelmingly with Pro with many direct references to credible sources (i.e. NCIB). Although Con also references some reliable sources such as these, a portion of the argument relied on a Wiki source and much more of the argument was directly supported by sources. Sources to Pro.
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