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"Pssst! Don't tell the creationists but...

popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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2/28/2011 7:55:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
...scientists don't have a clue how life began." lol. I thought the title was pretty funny so I decided to post it.

http://www.scientificamerican.com...

"Exactly 20 years ago, I wrote an article for Scientific American that, in draft form, had the headline above. My editor nixed it, so we went with something less dramatic: "In the Beginning…: Scientists are having a hard time agreeing on when, where and—most important—how life first emerged on the earth." That editor is gone now, so I get to use my old headline, which is even more apt today.

Dennis Overbye just wrote a status report for The New York Times on research into life's origin, based on a conference on the topic at Arizona State University. Geologists, chemists, astronomers and biologists are as stumped as ever by the riddle of life.

After its formation 4.5 billion years ago, Earth was bombarded for millions of years by huge meteorites, which would have wiped out any fledgling organisms. Researchers have found evidence of microbial life dating back 3.5 billion years ago, suggesting that life emerged fairly quickly—"like Athena springing from the head of Zeus," as one scientist quoted by Overbye put it. But how exactly did chemistry first make the transition to biology?

As recently as the middle of the 20th century, many scientists thought that the first organisms were made of self-replicating proteins. After Francis Crick and James Watson showed that DNA is the basis for genetic transmission in the 1950s, many researchers began to favor nucleic acids over proteins as the ur-molecules. But there was a major hitch in this scenario. DNA can make neither proteins nor copies of itself without the help of catalytic proteins called enzymes. This fact turned the origin of life into a classic chicken-or-egg puzzle: Which came first, proteins or DNA?

RNA, DNA's helpmate, remains the most popular answer to this conundrum, just as it was when I wrote "In the Beginning…" Certain forms of RNA can act as their own enzymes, snipping themselves in two and splicing themselves back together again. If RNA could act as an enzyme, then it might be able to replicate itself without help from proteins. RNA could serve as gene and catalyst, egg and chicken.

But the "RNA-world" hypothesis remains problematic. RNA and its components are difficult to synthesize under the best of circumstances, in a laboratory, let alone under plausible prebiotic conditions. Once RNA is synthesized, it can make new copies of itself only with a great deal of chemical coaxing from the scientist. Overbye notes that "even if RNA did appear naturally, the odds that it would happen in the right sequence to drive Darwinian evolution seem small."

The RNA world is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much more far out—literally—speculation. The most startling revelation in Overbye's article is that scientists have resuscitated a proposal once floated by Crick. Dissatisfied with conventional theories of life's beginning, Crick conjectured that aliens came to Earth in a spaceship and planted the seeds of life here billions of years ago. This notion is called directed panspermia. In less dramatic versions of panspermia, microbes arrived on our planet via asteroids, comets or meteorites, or drifted down like confetti.

One enormous change in the past two decades in the quest to understand our origins—which Overbye also reported on recently—is that astronomers have identified more than 1,000 possible planets orbiting other stars. Some seem to be in the "Goldilocks" zone, neither too far nor too close to their respective stars for life as we know it to prosper. Perhaps we are descended from life that emerged on one of those planets.

Of course, panspermia theories merely push the problem of life's origin into outer space. If life didn't begin here, how did it begin out there? Creationists are no doubt thrilled that origin-of-life research has reached such an impasse (see for example the screed "Darwinism Refuted," which cites my 1991 article), but they shouldn't be. Their explanations suffer from the same flaw: What created the divine Creator? And at least scientists are making an honest effort to solve life's mystery instead of blaming it all on God."
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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2/28/2011 8:13:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The problem is that they are trying to recreate something that may have an incredibly low probability. The right conditions may have been in place for millions of year until some chance billion to one thing occured.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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2/28/2011 8:18:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 8:17:51 PM, FREEDO wrote:
So?

"There's something scientists don't know! Score 1 for Creationists!"

lolwut
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
PrimoVictoria
Posts: 38
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2/28/2011 8:18:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Well you can rule out primordial ooze, primordial rock theory is much more sensible (the theory that life originates from the rocks that can be found at the bottoms of oceans as well as the surfaces of clay and quartz, not the random collisions of the ooze).
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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2/28/2011 8:21:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 8:18:38 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 2/28/2011 8:17:51 PM, FREEDO wrote:
So?

"There's something scientists don't know! Score 1 for Creationists!"

lolwut

Somehow I'm thinking something got lost in translation...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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2/28/2011 9:01:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 7:55:24 PM, popculturepooka wrote:

...scientists don't have a clue how life began."

True, but not just about that, as Feynman was fond of saying, we are just trying to learn, everything we think we know may be wrong. Amusing title though.
Ogan
Posts: 407
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3/1/2011 8:06:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 8:13:10 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
The problem is that they are trying to recreate something that may have an incredibly low probability. The right conditions may have been in place for millions of year until some chance billion to one thing occured.

What is the cause of the original Motion that caused Motion? Motion is Life, what is its Cause prior to the big gang?
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/1/2011 9:28:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The main concern here for me is the failing of the RNA world hypothesis. It's what *I* was brought up on and it's disappointing to see it fail.

However, I think that a major flaw in these experiments is possibly that scientists are trying to produce RNA autoenzymes in mock primordial soup. Shouldn't they be trying to produce RNA autoenzymes inside of a lipid sphere? I don't know enough to tell the exact difference, but I'm sure that it would be a LOT more stable.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,295
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3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/1/2011 10:33:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 9:28:19 PM, Kleptin wrote:
The main concern here for me is the failing of the RNA world hypothesis. It's what *I* was brought up on and it's disappointing to see it fail.

That is still an active area of research.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,295
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3/1/2011 10:43:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".

You're not a douche if you are teaching something.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/2/2011 12:36:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 9:28:19 PM, Kleptin wrote:
The main concern here for me is the failing of the RNA world hypothesis. It's what *I* was brought up on and it's disappointing to see it fail.

However, I think that a major flaw in these experiments is possibly that scientists are trying to produce RNA autoenzymes in mock primordial soup. Shouldn't they be trying to produce RNA autoenzymes inside of a lipid sphere? I don't know enough to tell the exact difference, but I'm sure that it would be a LOT more stable.

presumably the environment inside a lipid sphere would be nearly identical to that outside. true, it would have less opportunity to be interfered with, but i don't think that would produce more spontaneous RNA replication. if anything a limited environment might hamper replication, as fewer RNA monomers would be floating around to interact with the parent strand and induce replication.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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3/2/2011 6:19:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 10:43:04 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".

You're not a douche if you are teaching something.

The law of entropy refers to a closed system, earth is not a closed system. Or something like that anyway.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,295
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3/2/2011 8:34:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 6:19:43 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 3/1/2011 10:43:04 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".

You're not a douche if you are teaching something.

The law of entropy refers to a closed system, earth is not a closed system. Or something like that anyway.

Exactly. Earth is an open system and entropy can flow in both directions.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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3/2/2011 9:00:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 8:34:08 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/2/2011 6:19:43 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 3/1/2011 10:43:04 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".

You're not a douche if you are teaching something.

The law of entropy refers to a closed system, earth is not a closed system. Or something like that anyway.

Exactly. Earth is an open system and entropy can flow in both directions.

Yea... wut?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
eball45
Posts: 125
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3/3/2011 2:32:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Exactly. In an open system all that is needed is an input of energy. It's like you cleaning your room when it's dirty. We have the sun as one input that comes to mind.
eball45
Posts: 125
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3/3/2011 2:35:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
To the scientist starting this post. There will always be the infinite regress problem. Science will never figure it all out. Understanding how the world works doesn't disprove god.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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3/4/2011 5:15:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't understand how not knowing how life began is really an argument for God, and if we did know how life began it would be an argument against god. This hypothetical god presumably created the laws of physics and all that stuff with the jazzy hands, so would have probably created life in a way which can be scientifically described.
Meatros
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3/4/2011 12:25:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

PRATT
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/4/2011 1:15:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 5:15:54 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
I don't understand how not knowing how life began is really an argument for God, and if we did know how life began it would be an argument against god. This hypothetical god presumably created the laws of physics and all that stuff with the jazzy hands, so would have probably created life in a way which can be scientifically described.

Note this is the exact argument that Christian Evolutionary Biologists such as Ken Miller use, minus the jazzy hands.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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3/4/2011 4:02:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 1:15:39 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/4/2011 5:15:54 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
I don't understand how not knowing how life began is really an argument for God, and if we did know how life began it would be an argument against god. This hypothetical god presumably created the laws of physics and all that stuff with the jazzy hands, so would have probably created life in a way which can be scientifically described.

Note this is the exact argument that Christian Evolutionary Biologists such as Ken Miller use, minus the jazzy hands.

Evidently he is wrong. There must be jazzy hands.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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3/4/2011 4:05:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 1:15:39 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/4/2011 5:15:54 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
I don't understand how not knowing how life began is really an argument for God, and if we did know how life began it would be an argument against god. This hypothetical god presumably created the laws of physics and all that stuff with the jazzy hands, so would have probably created life in a way which can be scientifically described.

Note this is the exact argument that Christian Evolutionary Biologists such as Ken Miller use, minus the jazzy hands.

Would you say it is a valid argument (I say argument but seeing as it only rationalizes a method based on the assumption that God exists it isn't really arguing that)
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/4/2011 4:11:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 12:36:18 AM, belle wrote:
presumably the environment inside a lipid sphere would be nearly identical to that outside. true, it would have less opportunity to be interfered with, but i don't think that would produce more spontaneous RNA replication. if anything a limited environment might hamper replication, as fewer RNA monomers would be floating around to interact with the parent strand and induce replication.

RNA monomers are simply amino acids. I'm pretty sure they can pass through a lipid barrier. In addition, once they have bonded into chains, it would be harder for them to leave the lipid membrane. That, in addition to the extra stability may make the difference.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/4/2011 8:49:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:02:08 PM, Thaddeus wrote:

Evidently he is wrong. There must be jazzy hands.

That is problem why it doesn't work for me, I am a-jazzy hands.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/4/2011 8:50:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 4:05:46 PM, Thaddeus wrote:

Would you say it is a valid argument

It is basically how deists view God and that position it near impossible to refute or support, only theism can be refuted, hence a-theism.
PervRat
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3/8/2011 3:46:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
One of many inherent differences between creationists and scientists is scientists tend to know and realize that we know next to nothing and need to learn, whereas creationists assert we know too much and need to unlearn the things we have worked out and reasoned.
sal
Posts: 319
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3/17/2011 4:43:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 6:19:43 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 3/1/2011 10:43:04 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:47:27 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/1/2011 9:35:19 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What I think is really interesting is that evolution of life goes totally against the laws of entropy and expanding disorder... why is this? something to think about!

I don't want to seem like a condescending douche, but this "counterpoint" is really, really, REALLY old! Please spend just 5-10 minutes on google with the search words "entropy" and "evolution".

You're not a douche if you are teaching something.

The law of entropy refers to a closed system, earth is not a closed system. Or something like that anyway.

What is your reason for saying that.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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4/12/2011 12:57:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
We don't know why X happened, therefore God did it.

I don't see how anyone could possibly refute that.

GOD OF THE GAPS, FTW !!!
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12