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Theories - Origin of Life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby canalon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:34 pm

Scottie,

Would you be an engineer, per chance?
This is unrelated to the discussion, and will not be discussed further, but I am curious...
Patrick

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby freerob » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:28 am

scottie wrote:However does design feature in biology?

This is what George V. Lauder of Harvard University has to say on the subject
http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~glau ... heoBio.pdf
1. Introduction
The problem of biological design is one of the oldest topics in biology. It has been clear, at least from the time of Aristotle, that organisms possess a “unity of plan” or underlying commonality of structure, and that the function of biological features bears some relationship to their form. E. S. Russell in his classic book (1916) has interpreted the history of morphology as an attempt to understand the relationship between form and function.
The concepts of commonality of structure and functional design play
prominent roles in modern evolutionary morphology.

So please tell has any scientist refuted this statement?


There is no issue with the use of the word "design" in the above cited paper because the author clearly points out his definition of "design" as a biological structure relative to it's function and the "designer" as adaptation through natural selection. In the introduction you quoted from, the author gives us his definition of design and designer. I probably wouldn't use the word design to describe the result of an unguided process, however, as you point out, it's common in the terminology. Not that the frequency of the use of the word design in any way gives it the meaning you wish it to have.

My issue is with YOUR use of the word design. You imply design in a guided manner but do not define a designer. Please clearly state your design hypothesis, including your "designer".

Using the author quoted above's definitions, you arrive at Darwin's theory. This is another example of you(scottie) attempting to misconstrue or mischaracterize what a cited example actually says. The article is actually really interesting if you read it. Does it refute natural selection in favor of a "design and designer"? Nope. That's not what the paper discusses in any way, shape, or form.

Was the Grand Canyon designed? It has form and function. I suppose you could say it was if you include geologic forces as the designer. However, design is probably not the best word choice, which brings me to the article by Andrew Moore that you cited. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 90011/full

I strongly agree with Moore here. I have heard others propose similar ideas and agreed to that as well. Anthropomorphic terminology is a problem, and is even evidenced by you yourself scottie. In articles you have linked, you imply such a meaning to words like design when a different meaning is what was intended by it's author.

I'm beginning to think there is a not a difference of opinion here in this thread so much as an attempt to lead a discussion astray by deception. The strategy you have used is this: The word design is used in an article and you ascribe an invocation of an agency, even though the author clearly did not. Or, if not an anthropomorphic misconception, you take a quote and attempted to twist it into a meaning it does not have in the broader context of the entire article, what is commonly called "quote mining". It's a form of dishonesty. Also you use terms like "Darwinism" and "Darwinists" in an almost derogatory manner. That's an example of trying to write off the scientific consensus as mere "group-think", and it's wrong. That's what ID proponents do when their arguments can't pass the scientific test. Claim the consensus is dogmatic and intolerant to new ideas.

I also want to address this nonsense:
scottie wrote:So if the theory is a fact why does it need a supporting philosophy?
After all, other scientific facts don’t have,or indeed need, supporting philosophies.
Newton’s Laws on gravity, Kepler’s Laws of motion, Chargaff’s rule of GC% content etc etc.

How about:
Philosophy of Chemistry
Philosophy of Mathmatics
Philosophy of Physics

Yes, evolution is a FACT. Does it need a supporting philosophy? NO. What was stated by Mayr and others was that the unifying theory of biology, evolution by natural selection, opened the door for a Philosophy of Biology. It was as indeed as profound as Mayr stated in the article you linked.

Where you get it wrong is in trying to put the cart before the horse. The science behind Darwin's theory came before any philosophy could be built upon it. Not vice-versa as you attempt to assert. Additionally, the philosophy that arose from Darwin's theories was/is not playing some "supportive" role in propping the theory up as you suggest. It's how we deal with the implications of a new way of understanding the natural world around us and our role in it. Just the same as Philosophy works when applied to Chemistry or Physics or Mathematics.

What is the following quote supposed to achieve?
scottie wrote:So anyone who questions Darwinian Theory is not an educated person according to Ernst Mayr and you as one of his obedient acolytes simply parrots the same dictat as though it had some force.

That means that all the PHD scientists (I have already provided you with a very very small starting list of these ) who do not hold with the theory, are part of the uneducated masses.

Oh dearie me ( It's an english expression)

The Darwinian doctrine is a sacred doctrine that only the educated can comprehend.
Hmm!!! sounds very much like the principle driving force that was behind the Spanish inquisition.

Look if you don’t like being referred to as a religionist then don’t behave like a fundamentalist in religion.


Weren't you repeatedly accusing others in this thread of using rhetoric? Hey pot, what color is that kettle again? :roll:

You call me religionist because I'm someone who agrees with the scientific consensus and argues the merits of a theory with zeal eh? Ridiculous. Also that list of PHD's you've mentioned again is a punchline more than it is a reason to take the ID movement seriously. You admit the list came from a Creationist/Intelligent design website. You claim you aren't one of "them", but you use their propaganda on a legitimate biology forum?

Also. Your abrasive, sarcastic, and passive aggressive tone really rubs me the wrong way. The floor is yours to spread some more fallacies draped in jargon and rhetoric I suppose.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby JackBean » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:38 am

canalon wrote:Scottie,

Would you be an engineer, per chance?
This is unrelated to the discussion, and will not be discussed further, but I am curious...

:lol: :lol:
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:07 pm

Canalon

To answer your question
Yes I am an engineer. I am a retired Managing Director of a communications company. My main subject is communications engineering.

May I ask you to please think about this and ask yourself if it is explainable. I am not looking to you to post any explanation, just to think about it.

What is physically the difference between a living animal and the same animal at the moment of death.
The corpse, remains under the same laws of physics and chemistry as the living animal, does it not?
The same collection of molecules exist in the animal during the moments immediately before and after death.

Yet after this transition, will you as a biologist think about genes as being regulated, or would you refer to normal chromosome functioning?.

No molecules will be carrying signals and certainly there will be no structures that will recognise those signals.

Coded information and communication in their biological sense, will have disappeared completely.

If life is simply a material manifestation of arranged molecules, why is there this complete contrast between the living and the dead animal.
Physically, they are still the same are they not?

Now you are trying hard to explain that life is just a collection of molecules arranged, amazingly, not just by some functional design, but by of all things, randomly.

Darwin privately envisioned life as starting from some quiet little pond full of the right molecules wherein life first got started.

Scientific American in it’s September 2010 article entitled “Dust to Dust” page 58 describes the process of cell death

IN THE FIRST STAGE, soft tissue begins to decompose in a chain of events that starts with autolysis, or self-digestion. When breathing and circulation cease, cells are left without a supply of oxygen. The cells survive for a few minutes to a few days, but they can no longer pass wastes into the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide, one of the by-products of metabolism, is acidic, and as it accumulates, the acidity inside a cell increases, causing cell membranes to rupture. Single membranes surrounding organelles called lysosomes tend to dissolve first. The sacs contain digestive enzymes normally used by cells to break down organic molecules such as proteins. As these enzymes spill out, they begin digesting the cell from the inside out, eventually creating small blisters in and on internal tissues and organs and on the skin. The blister fluid, consisting of digested cell innards, is rich in nutrients. ( my emphasis)


So here is all that is needed to start life off with. As Darwin envisioned a fluid rich in nutrients and we have that postulated “little pond”.

What then do these nutrients have to do?

Well it’s quite simple really.

The nutrients separate themselves into cell walls and enzymes. But of course actually these enzymes naturally digest those very cell walls. (But never mind lets carry on)

For some reason, lysosomes form to prevent that from happening.

Then the cells start taking in carbon dioxide from surrounding fluid to release oxygen. And viola there we have it Life! :)

Yet, you know as indeed I know that this does not happen, despite the conditions being so amenable.

What I find hard to understand is:-
What is it about this so obvious manifestation of evidence of some force operating beyond physics and chemistry, that you find so abhorrent to come to terms with.

Whatever this life force is, science is simply unable to explain, and yet not only do you seem to refuse to acknowledge this fact that is staring out at everyone, but you so readily appear to accept the notion that somehow and quite miraculously a random collection of molecules has come together and produced a living organism that has purpose, function and behaves predictably.

Is it not obvious that this life force whatever it may be, and clearly is quite apart from physics and chemistry, has to be present before life can manifest itself.

If scientists would have some idea as to what this life force is then it could perhaps be explained, but as it is science cannot explain it.
All we know with any confidence is where this life force comes from. You know it, I know it, every biologist knows it.
It comes from another life.

Scientists cannot even provide an agreed definition of what life is, let alone explain it.

This whole controversy is not about science, it is about different philosophies or religious beliefs that are trying to deal this question.

Ernst Mayr knew exactly what he was talking about when he described Darwin’s view as an extraordinary philosophic advance.

So coming again to your repeated question, can I name the designer?,--
No I cannot, because science cannot.
Does not your own tag line go something like this “ Science is proof without certainty….”

Yet you are trying to obtain a proof with certainty from me, which of course completes your tag line, rebutting creationists.

All anyone can ever do is provide a philosophical view that will probably be different from yours.
That of course will not be a scientific exchange, it will be a philosophical exchange.

So please tell me what prevents you from acknowledging that the materialist viewpoint you clearly hold (correct me if I am misrepresenting you) cannot be proved scientifically.

Ernst Mayr proudly acknowledged it as such.
However he put himself on the pedestal that clearly demeans anyone, that has a different view, as uneducated. This sort of arrogance does indeed permeate discussions like this and it does come from all sides of the debate.

Therefore it is not possible to enter into any rational discussion with that arrogant perspective as a controlling edict.

And that, as I have said before, is not a road I will go down, simply because of the way these exchanges quickly degenerate into shrill name and cat calling.

Now if you as a moderator would wish to start a thread on this subject with the strict rule that everyone’s views will be treated with respect, then I will happily have an input.
This will also give some freeness of speech for any views to be aired without the posters of those views having to cope with the distaste of the emotional demeaning that keeps taking place.
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Postby canalon » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:37 pm

1- There is a theory that those doubting evolution are particularly common among engineers. No explanation, just correlation. It is inconsequential but funny, and indeed very often true. the good thing is that in spite of the general very poor understanding of biology (no, you are no exception), at least the argument with engineers are slightly more interesting that with the religious crowd.

2- For your little story, decomposition of living things are usually not leading to new life, because even in the deadest corpse is teeming with life which is extremely adept at using all source of energy to its benefits. And very efficient at it too. So even if a new life form were to emerge, it would be at such a competitive disadvantage that it would disappear quickly. (Think throwing a toddler in a hungry tiger cage to compete for food....).

3- You still have not answered my one simple question.
Patrick

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:45 pm

There is a theory that those doubting evolution are particularly common among engineers. No explanation, just correlation


There is nothing theoretical about your comment.

You see engineers have to live in the real world of physical laws. They have to design and make things. Therefore they are bound by laws that make their projects possible.
They cannot philosophise or fantasize about matters, because philosophy and fantasy do not make things.

the good thing is that in spite of the general very poor understanding of biology (no, you are no exception),


So that’s your best argument is it?
What part of biology have I got wrong?

For your little story, decomposition of living things are usually not leading to new life, because even in the deadest corpse is teeming with life which is extremely adept at using all source of energy to its benefits.


I am not referring what decomposition may lead to.
Are you deliberately trying to miss-understand the point I was making?

My point was to try and help you to think that life is not a physical/chemical process.
Life uses physical and chemical processes and is something apart from them.

Darwinian theory in effect states that life is just a physical/chemical process and my “little story” as you put it simply shows that that is not so.

Even I, who only studied biology at college knows what Louis Pasteur proved.
Do go back to your school notes and read all about his experiments.
Or did you not learn that at school?.

Life only come from another pre-existing life.(that’s what Pasteur demonstrated and to date it has not been refuted)

Every biologist knows that, but those of a materialist philosophy then try to argue otherwise and as I have said before that number is reducing.

Of course micro-organisms (other living organisms) do infect and feed off the dead corpse, but corpse is dead and you know it. The life that was controlling that now dead copse is no longer there. It has gone, vanished , vamoosed, disappeared.:)

The biological processes in that corpse has wound down and no longer exists.

Are you seriously arguing that the dead corpse is somehow alive or with the right physical conditions could be made alive again?
Is that your contention?

Come on surely even you can do better than that.
I know, points you are unable to answer are somehow irrelevant, but only because you are not able to answer them.

You may wish to argue by issuing dictacts. That what religions do, but that only enhances my contention.

You still have not answered my one simple question.


Again, I have and you know it.
You ask for a name as if that matters scientifically.
You are trying to hide behind a philosophical point to advance your claimed “scientific” view.

However have you even tried to describe how random, undirected processes can account for the functionality we observe in the cell?

Other than, ofcourse stating by – dictact – that it does.

That is your problem.
You are stuck with a doctrine that you can’t explain, you cannot prove, so you have to rely on these dictacts.

I have often asked priests and clergymen to explain the doctrine of the trinity. (you know how three persons can be one person).
The answers is always the same.

Well it is. It is a FACT. :)
Now how is your method any different?

I see no difference.
But then I have no imagination, after all I only a humble engineer:)
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Postby canalon » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Thank you for your demonstartion of your ignorance and stupidity. That will be my last post in this thread.

Just for your education, i will nevertheless that death is not what you think. When an organism dies, it does not mean that all cells instantaneously dies simultaneously. In fact, all cells will die, but some might take way longer time depending on their requirements in food and oxygen. So life is still active, but the general system is unable to perform the coordinated activities that were allowed the survival of the organism. In case of a human, that would entail respiration, blood circulation and so on. Some cells that are bad are storing energy and with high energy needs (as neurons) will die quickly when those functions cease. Other like some hair and skin cells with very low requirement will be able to keep going for weeks, in their own little corner.
As an engineer you should think of it as a very complex machine with multiple independant subsystems where the central control dies. many of the subsystems will be able to carry (some of ) their functions automatically, but without order or significance. The machine itself is dead.

As for your engineer explanation, we pretty much agree on the reason of the correlation (used to work on complex and designed system) but in my view you need to add arrogance and ignorance (of biology) to the mix to explain creationism. And you sir are are an arrogant fool. Learn about biology before you talk.
Patrick

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Postby kathreeds » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:02 am

Rapid advances in the study of genetics and molecular biology have produced additional insight into fundamental questions such as the origin of life on Earth. You should write a paper that provides an overview of Genetics engineering perspective
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:22 am

canalon
As an engineer you should think of it as a very complex machine with multiple independant subsystems where the central control dies. many of the subsystems will be able to carry (some of ) their functions automatically, but without order or significance. The machine itself is dead.

As for your engineer explanation, we pretty much agree on the reason of the correlation (used to work on complex and designed system) but in my view you need to add arrogance and ignorance (of biology) to the mix to explain creationism. And you sir are are an arrogant fool. Learn about biology before you talk.
Patrick


We are agreed then as you say the “machine” is dead.

Now if you had actually read what I did write, you would have understood I was describing a winding down process
I actually said
The biological processes in that corpse has wound down and no longer exists.


To add to the information I could have said that individual cell death takes anywhere from some minutes to perhaps a couple of days as the lack of blood flow starves the cell of the energy needed to maintain operations and so on and so forth.

However I assumed I was debating with a biologist who would have known these things.
But there you go, in my arrogance, I deemed it unnecessary.

However you do make a valid point
Learn about biology before you talk.


Indeed I have spent the last three years learning, which is why I have the “arrogance” to debate with an obviously intelligent biologist, on his own turf.

To demonstrate how much I have learned, not from my own research, but from those much more eminently qualified, I will take up kathreeds suggestion and present some of the latest research in genetics.

I appreciate you will not be saying anymore on the matter but perhaps others may be interested in what is coming to light.

I will of course support whatever I present with the necessary evidence. (as I have always done)
kathreeds

Thank you for your suggestion. A tremendous amount is being learned about cell functions.

One of the major areas of research is in the field of epigenetics.

The information is quite fascinating.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:31 pm

Since Watson and Crick identified the structure of DNA and Marshall Nirenberg along with Hargobind Khorana and Robert Holley broke the code of it, a central dogma in molecular biology solidified.

DNA codes RNA codes Protein.
DNA being the carrier of genetic information in organisms.

http://employees.csbsju.edu/hjakubowski ... dogma.html

In the 1990’s it became evident that this simple concept of DNA encoding protein is not what is actually happening.

It became clear that the original length of DNA (the gene) is substantially altered before the protein encoding is accomplished.

RNA editing in plants, as in other organisms, challenges our traditional notions of genetic information transfer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8422976

In my post of the 20th May I provided some information relating to the way a gene is modified before protein is manufactured.
by scottie » Fri May 20, 2011 9:30 pm
about14351-84.html

My comment was

The original DNA gene is simply a very rough and incomplete information set that is required to produce the function it is required to. It has to be modified

This means that the DNA genes, in some cases, do not determine the proper sequence of amino acids. The information provided by DNA messages is - in these cases -simply wrong, from the functional, biological point of view, and it has to be edited during a separate stage. As a result of this editing the original, primary molecular meaning of a given gene can be radically changed.

If DNA is the main ruling agency of the body mechanisms, then any mutilation of the DNA molecule should be fatal and unrecoverable. In reality DNA can, and is constantly being repaired. Somehow the organism knows how to detect a change in the genetic message, and utilizes many different, complex procedures to repair different forms of mutation.

This was in effect introducing the subject of epigenetics into the discussion

You will find this site a useful introduction to the subject

http://epigenome.eu/en/1,1,0

I will take this a little further next.
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Postby JackBean » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:12 pm

so? How does that relate? :roll:
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby JackBean » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:16 pm

just a little joke :)
http://xkcd.com/154/
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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