Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.
Now that I think about it.. actually nothing. In fact its quite the opposite because I claim that living chemical reactions exist anyway. On the contrary our own interpretation, our intelligence and our point of view is what is elusive.
I only used the term to underscore the illusion that our subjective point of view causes when we are analyzing such fundamental questions in which we are involved and judge as inside observers.
Can life start locally and then expand?
Recently space missions have detected ten-fold spikes in methane in the atmosphere of Mars. If life forms are eventually found somewhere locally, this means that my arguments about chaotic complex chemical reactions are proven wrong, because if life is actually arbitrary reactions as we explained, these cannot be sustained only locally. Due to a problem of space, arbitrary reactions will drop away and equilibrium would occur. Additionally, chemicals would diffuse around not allowing complex reactions to be sustained. Complex arbitrary reactions can be sustained only in an isolated place (remember the paradigm with the flask), but not for long because of the lack of chemical resources. So my described model can only develop everywhere on earth simultaneously (slowly reaching higher levels of complexity) or not at all.
Well, at least my arguments are falsifiable...
I think a very crucial question is this: If every life form suddenly disappeared from half the earth, what would happen? Would life eventually overcome this problem and re-expand to cover everything and how quickly or will it rather disappear? The chemical reactions scenario i think says that even if life overcomes, it would be slowly and only at a cost of a great decay of the existing life in the other half.
I think that a main difference between the two scenarios however ( random chemical reactions and mainstream view) is that there is a difference in the pace in which life has created in the first place.
Suppose we have the case that there were chemicals in proto-earth reacting with each other arbitrarily (in random) and this system was becoming more and more complex. The same things happens in a flask with chemicals if we continuously provide external energy in the long term. The system will react arbitrarily and will become more complex. Some pathways will be more favourable (especially due to repeatabilty, adhesive properties, polarity etc) and will prevail in the long term. If the chemicals of the system is used as a reference frame, what will happen? To its own viewpoint, the resulting system will perceive the whole history of the reactions that happened in the flask from the beginning, as something like evolution (of chemical reactions). Additionally, all other properties of life are there (throught their perspective), like reproduction (repeatabilty of reactions) and so on. In other words any complex system of reactions can perceive itself as life in exactly the same that we, as chemical reactions ourselves, study life and evolution, or else the history of the whole chemical reactions (I e. life) that created us.*
In this case its obvious that complexity in proto-life was growing very fast, because reactions were not restricted locally and everytime the system was becoming more complex, this bursted further complexity (until it finally became a dissipative system). So if there was a way to measure the changes in complexity of that system, like the energy coming from the reactions of life back then (eg. Heat), or a way to measure how complexity dependent products changed (eg atmospheric synthesis) we must have seen hyperbolic-like changes.
On the contrary, if the mainstream view is correct and life originated somewhere locally and then it expanded to cover everything, then we would not expect to see so fast changes in proto-earth. Instead, the expansion would have been much more slow (geometric?), because bacteria must assimilate nutrients for food from the surrounding environment while growing in numbers.
*[If anyone wonders how anything can be used as a reference frame and have a viewpoint, keep in mind that we don’t use in the anthropocentric way, but remember theory of relativity that is solely based on reference frames. Abandoning the idea that we have the absolute position and we are not moving, lead us to understand that we do not live in the center of the universe. However, we still think that our viewpoint is absolutely objective, which in fact leads us to still believe that we live in the center of existence.]
Ok! And here is a list of recent scientific advances that (to my opinion) support my theses as life being a collection of arbitrary reactions with incredible complexity that actually gain a meaning only because we are the observers. Arbitrary random chemical reactions that prevail over time and living beings are the two sides of the same coin. They survived and their properties make them survive over others….!! Its all a matter of perspective how you see the picture. Any system of complex chemical reactions would perceive itself as having the properties of life.
However, this is not the mainstream viewpoint of the scientific community, although reactions in living beings actually do happen arbitrarily, and the observers of the system are we ourselves, that are composed of chemical reactions inside the system of chemical reactions in which we are included.
However, recent scientific findings gives us some further clues:
1)In a paper recently published in “Nature Chemistry”, chemists from UK have found a novel way to create complex organic precursors of the building blocks of life, by using simple initial substrates. Organic macromolecules are commonly found around the universe, as they are found in meteorites, and possibly even in Mars. This experiment, along with others underscores the ease in which these molecules can actually be created. However, these organic macromolecules by themselves cannot create life by themselves. In fact, organics can be created in billions of different ways, through various chemical reactions. So, the question is not how organics were created in the first time on earth, as organics can be created anytime and everywhere.
And once again, the question is:
What is more likely the case?
a)Organic macromolecules were initially created in the form of building blocks that came together and in some way, under unknown conditions and unknows ways, they slowly created life?
b)Complex chemical reactions lead to the prevailance of organics in the system of reactions, due to the latter’s properties, and that’s why organics are the phenotype we see today, in a frame in which life is just the arbitrary reactions that happened through history and we as the ending results, judge the system from an anthropocentric point of view, since we are the results of this. And actually any system of complex chemical arbitrary reactions would perceive the whole process that created it as having the properties we see in life.
2) A new study published Feb 25 in the journal Nature, reports that emulsifiers that are added in most processed food can alter gut microbiota. This alteration can cause inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome, which in turn can be responsible for heart problems, liver problems, etc.
In general, this underscores the importance of the composition of gut microbiota, and the food processing by the bowel, in the overall function of the organism. Every system of the body does not seem to be that much self regulated and independent after all, but seems to be influenced by other systems in a chain reaction way, starting from food intake.
And to me, the fact that initial substrates that come into the organism with the digestion of food (influenced by gut microbiota), is an indication that the chemical reaction system that we described previously, theoretically predicts some things that recent research shows that apply pretty well with what happens in reality.
3)In a study published these days in “Science”, Shubhroz et al. found that in drosophila, the timing of feeding had a great impact in age-related cardiac decline.
Despite the fact that the research make efforts to uncover the complex underlying genetic and molecular pathways behind this, from a chemical reaction-only perspective, it is quite obvious (and expected) why this happens.
4)Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute published a paper showing that only a single base substitution causes major unexpected changes on phenotype, as it causes multiple changes, other than that are connected with the activity of the gene. This chaotic behavior underscores the unimaginable complexity and the inter-reactions between molecular pathways. The more we uncover the hidden complexities, the more complexities we found, which to my opinion will eventually lead us to a model in which we will only have chains and systems of chemical reactions that inter-react.
5)In a new study published in PNAS, scientists from UMMS found that long-lived mutated roundworm, despite the fact that they lived longer, they spent most of their life in a frail condition. This means that longevity is not synonymous with well being.
This supports the chemical reaction model that we described, because if you intervene with chemical reactions just to make them last longer, inevitably you pay the price for it (e.g slower reactions, creation of other pathways and thus frailty, etc). Its not just that you intervene with stem cells that rejuvenate the body and everything starts from the beginning as time has not passed at all.
Is life really associated with negentropy?
According to the common viewpoint, life is an open system that interacts with external energy. The mainstream viewpoint is that this interaction causes a decrease in its entropy, enabling life to emerge on the first place and to sustain itself, thus avoiding chemical chaos. In return, the system releases entropy to its surroundings so that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is not violated.
However, was this ever supported by any real experimental data? Is negentropy supported by evidence based facts?
The common view that the origin of life is characterized by accumulation of order, as order means lower entropy.
However, the term order can be very subjective, as an object non involved in life such as a rolling stone can say that it sees no order or no meaning in living systems’ chemical reactions. Just chaotic chemistry. So lets just leave order on the side and calculate entropy changes directly.
Does the entropy in living systems actually increase or decrease? If it increases, is it doing so in a pattern that suggests an arbitrary system?
Question: The more a system is far from its equilibrium highest entropic state, the more order does it have. If we let alone a cell in an isolated box, the result will eventually be a chemical mixture and not the organized cell. The final disordered mixture is more entropic than the the organized cell. Doesn’t this prove that lowering entropy is a hallmark of life and every organism spends an amount of energy to increase its order??
Answer: Not necessarily. The story of any individual living being actually is a journey towards gradual decay into disordered chemistry. In the beginning it’s a zygote in which so much information is disclosed about future events, patterns, etc in a very small space. So we can say that a zygote has less entropy compared to later stages. This entropy gradually increases as we become infants, childs, teenagers, adults, etc, because less and less information is carried over time…
A simple cell in isolation will indeed decay quickly, but don’t forget that cells never exist in isolation, and higher organisms are much more complex and they interact with external energy. So the fact that they don’t instantly decay doesn’t necessarily mean that they use energy to decrease their entropy. Never underestimate our inability to fully comprehend the value of huge numbers.
I will explain:
Lets assume that a human body everyday degrades towards a higher entropic state. Lets assume for this reason, that after each day, the body loses, lets say 100 thousand of chemical reactions. Suppose we have an 80 years old man. He has lived 29200 days. This means that he has lost nearly 3 billion reactions during his lifetime. If the total amount of chemical reactions he has is, lets say 1 trillion, then after 80 years he will be composed of 997 billion reactions, which means virtually still 1 trillion. So the impact of the whole process on the chemical reaction count will be almost negligible.
Of course, if we stop giving him food, he will degrade faster, but this is an example how can life can be compatible with a gradual loss of entropy.
Question: Isn’t a cell is much more ordered than its components?
Answer: A cell is much more ordered than its components, but what you forget is that a cell never exists in isolation. It owes its existence and its properties to the fact that it belongs into a more generalized phenomenon that is called life, which is an open system and interacts with external energy.
Imagine you have a flask with water that is heated with fire. The molecules of water will start speeding randomly toward various directions. Virtually, what you are doing here with the cell argument is ignoring the fire and the majority of other water molecules and focusing only on subset of 2 specific molecules. These molecules will be perceived as gaining speed without an obvious reason, thus seeming to decrease entropy, as well as other known laws is such a way that it has to be characterized as an independent phenomenon that has to be studied….
Question: Isn’t glucose and oxygen more ordered than CO2 and water?
Answer: In order to build a house, you take the bricks and put them together. But you don’t build a cell in that way. A cell or a living being is the way it is because of the other living beings, ie because of the existence of what we call life on earth. Cells or living beings never exist in isolation.
Question: Isn’t it difficult to experimentally measure changes in order in particular organisms or cells?
Answer: Yes, but if life as a whole is a sum of entropy decreasing entities, then the entropy of the whole system will be decreasing accordingly over time. In this case, the total amount of entropic releases in the environment will be changing over time accordingly. I think this can be measurable....
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