Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.
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Although biology is the science of life, biologists have not yet been able to define “life”. Although molecular gene is the foundational atom of modern biology, the “gene” also remains undefined. Likewise “species” is the foundation of evolutionary biology, but evolutionists (including Darwin) have not been able to define “species” yet. It is without knowing these, biology is ‘advancing’. Is biology on the right track? If it is, why we are unable to get clear understanding of these things in spite of substantial research already done in biology? We do not pause to ponder over this issue. It is high time we at least doubted something is fundamentally wrong in biology.
It is without knowing what “life” is, we are trying to create life. The basic reason why we cannot define or understand the phenomenon of life is the erroneous concept of biological information. Molecular gene (genome) concept is wrong. Biological program responsible for life and the functioning of an organism is not encoded by a chemical molecule (DNA). By treating DNA as the molecule of life, we are superimposing biological information over chemical information. This implies that DNA is the only molecule in the whole universe that carries biological information over and above chemical information. This is wrong. The molecular gene concept is therefore flawed and is scientifically untenable. It is violation of chemical principles. The Scriptures lend a helping hand to resolve the issue. Just because the help comes from Scriptures, we should not reject it. That is unscientific. But if the Scriptural revelation cannot be proved scientifically we can reject it. The Quran and Bible reveal that life is nonmaterial phenomenon validating the original proposal of ‘nonphysical gene’ by Wilhelm Johannsen in 1909. He warned against two things while proposing the gene concept; one is against treating gene as material entity, and the other is against assigning gene for particular character. Both these warnings have been since proved correct.
The nonphysical biological information can be conceived on the lines of computer model of the organism. Phenomena of life and death can be defined and explained in the light of the Quranic revelation based on the computer model of organism. The Quran informs that God created Adam by “breathing rooh into a clay model of man” (Q. 15:28-29). The term nafs is also used in place of rooh in the Quran (Q. 4:1). On ‘breathing of rooh’, the clay model (nonliving matter) sprang to life. The Bible tells us the same story but uses the phrase “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). Both these sources thus reveal the cause of life is something nonphysical. The Scriptural revelations are metaphors, which can be explained based on computer model of organism. In the computer model, the chemical structures (including DNA) from cells through tissues to organs constitute hardware of the organism. The nonphysical “rooh” is the biosoftware of organism. The Scriptural revelations (“breathing of rooh” or “breathing of life” into the clay model of man) can be explained as installation of biosoftware in the nonliving clay model. Upon installation (‘breathing’) of the “rooh”, the clay model sprang to life much like a computer springs to “life” on installing software in it. Our computer software is also nonphysical although it requires a physical medium (disk) for storage. Similarly biosoftware also requires a physical medium for its storage. The hard disk of organism is chromosome. The invisible software is the soul of the computer as the rooh is the soul of an organism. The Quran further reveals that it is the removal (deletion) of nafs that results in death (Q. 6:93). Deletion of software from our computer also brings it to a halt. A dead body is therefore like a computer without software. Based on this reasoning, life can be defined as the manifestation of execution of divine biosoftware in the body cells, and death as the result of its deletion from the body. Computers, robots, etc., which run on man-made software, can be considered as forms of ‘artificial life’. Biologists are currently pursuing a chemical trail to find out the source of biological information. A summary of my research in this area has been published in J. Software Engineering and Applications 3(7):728-735 (2010).
The Scriptural assertion of nonmaterial basis of life is falsifiable and hence it is as good as scientific theory. It predicts it will never be possible to create life from non-life through chemical synthesis without using a living cell or organism at any stage of the process. It also predicts that a dead cell (or a dead body) cannot be restored to life chemically. In fact a dead cell has all the material structures including DNA intact at death. But yet the cell doesn’t show any sign of life. This is clear proof that a chemical structure (material) does not encode biological program. Chemical structure encodes only chemical information. All the experiments so far conducted to create life from non-life have failed so far. Going by the Scriptures, future experiments in this line will also fail. This proves two things scientifically; one is God exists, and the other is molecular gene concept is wrong.
A dead cell is natural equivalent of prosthetic cell as it has all the material structures including genome except life. Instead of chemically synthesizing genome or cell from scratch, a more feasible proposition is to use dead cell for creation of life. If it can be shown that life can be brought back to a dead cell by purely chemical means (without involving a living cell or organism at any stage during the process), that will prove the material basis of life and also nonexistence of God. For detailed discussion please see particularly posts 4 and 5 at my blog
Creating changes in organism through genetic manipulation is not creation of life. Nature herself shows such diversity within species. In computer model of organism, DNA technology is biohardware technology and not biosoftware technology. Employing DNA technology, biologists are unwittingly trying to find hardware solution for software problem.
Last edited by JackBean on Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I looked at the date as I was reading your article and was surprised to find it was not posted in the 1800's. Life is a continuing chemical anomaly, propelled by the ability of a chemical entity to increase the likelihood by which it should be replicated (reproduction) theres not much to it other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and a handful of other elements which compose the vast majority of life on earth. The gene is simply the replicated code and whatever body or cell it acts upon is the hardware by which the gene has itself replicated. all living things exist to replicate a chemical sequence as they have done for approximately 3.9 billion years, and shall continue to do so long after humans pass off the face of the planet.
There is no doubt life can exist without the aid of some supernatural being breathing life into its cells.
according to the quranic point of view,We cannot prove or disprove the existence of God directly for obvious reasons. However in situations of this kind in science when a theory cannot be tested directly, scientists look at its predictions. The same approach can be followed here also. We can consider Scriptural revelations about the universe and natural phenomena similar to the predictions of a theory on the assumption the Scripture is from God. In this case, I suggest the Quranic revelation of nonmaterial basis of life as a prediction whose validity can be tested scientifically. As against this Quranic revelation (discussed below), modern biology treats life as material phenomenon. Life is believed to have originated as emergent phenomenon through chance encounters of chemical molecules. Three foundational theories of modern biology namely molecular gene (genome), theories of origin of life, and Darwin’s theory of evolution of species, are developed or explained now on the assumption life is material phenomenon. Biology tells us it is material genome that constitutes the biological program responsible for the phenotype and biological processes. To biologists, an organism is mere bundle of chemical molecules. There is nothing nonphysical or nonmaterial in an organism be it a cell, plant, animal or man.
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