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SFGOON
14th March 10, 04:24 PM
I have a challenge for the DA Youngs and Virii out there - those who believe life is a sophisticated manifestation of entropy.

As most of you are aware, I have been studying some advanced biology. During the course of these studies, it has come to my attention that there is a deeply startling quality to the way genes are translated into proteins, one which suggests a single source of life. At best, I can say with a degree of certainty that all life - everything - evolved from one, 1, 1 x 10^-1, cell. Not two, not five, just one.

Here's a worthwhile source followed by a TLDR summary:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation_(genetics)

With DNA, the individual units are like binary computer bits, but biologists pissed backwards and call them a "base." There are four, called "T,A,G and C. Three units of DNA indicate a specific amino acid, called a "codon."

The very strange thing is, every single living thing "reads" DNA the exact same way. This need not be the case. For example, the sequence "TAC-CGC-TGC" would be translated into an "AUG-GCG-ACG" messenger RNA then sent to the ribosomes to make a protein that goes "methionine, alanine, threonine."

The translation is completely arbitrary. There's no reason why "GCG" couldn't be read as any other amino acid. Yet it does. For every single living thing on this Earth.

Why these traits wouldn't change evolutionarily is easily understandable. One codon translation mutated will kill the organism quite quickly. But, there's literally NO diversity in DNA translation architecture. (Not even among the most simple of all organisms like Archaea, extreme-o-philes, etc.)

Pause for a moment in your reading, and ponder the above. Then read on.



So - 3.7 billion years ago, Earth was like a gigantic, variable temperature heater-stirrer. A day was about 18 hours long, the moon was VERY close to the Earth and caused VIOLENT tides. There were also VIOLENT volcanoes and constant lightning strikes. Everything was having the hell shaked out of it, and was heated and cooled to a variety of temperatures. All over the whole fucking Earth, all at once. For Billions of years. Eons beyond Eons.

This is QUITE ideal for the spontaneous creation of life. Yet, all it seemed to produce - even in pockets of total physical isolation - is a single DNA architecture. That doesn't seem right. There should be several. Many many many varieties, with multiple points of origin. With that huge global scale over that cosmic amount of time.

But there's only one. This points to a single origin of ALL life. A literal "mother cell" from which we are all descended.

What's the simplest explanation? Why aren't we observing more diversity? Was there a demiurge beyond Chaos?

I don't want to discuss theology right now per se - I'd rather look into some rational causation to see this explained. I'm curious to see if rational reductionism in this case forces us to examine the possibility of some form of creator.

Cullion
14th March 10, 04:27 PM
<pedant>1 x 10 ^ -1 = 0.1

You're looking for 1 x 10^0</pedant>

One simple explanation would be: That's the only way that mechanism can work. The other variations just don't work in Earth's environment so they died.

This may be demonstrably untrue. If so, I'll try something else.

SFGOON
14th March 10, 05:20 PM
Look into tRNA. Basically a protien with an anti-codon on one end and an amino acid on the other.

It all has the exact same "thingy" in the middle. It just magically happens that a particular anticodon on one end corresponds to a specific amino acid on the other.

Cullion
14th March 10, 05:33 PM
What other arrangements would be reproductively viable ?

Perhaps the other arrangements popped up (and perhaps still pop up) all the time, but just fail to reproduce.

Keith
14th March 10, 05:43 PM
<pedant>1 x 10 ^ -1 = 0.1

You're looking for 1 x 10^0</pedant>

Dammit you beat me too it.

In regards to the question in the OP, one theory might be that there WERE other forms of digital protien systhesis instructions, but they were out-competed by what is now the only form. Or that they simply weren't robust enough to survive the extremely variable and volitile conditions oh ancient Earth.

Another theory might be that spontaniously self-replicating complex molecules are just such a low percentage chance combination, that even in the highly energized cosmic mixer that was ancient earth, it only happened once.

WarPhalange
14th March 10, 06:20 PM
GOON, that's just how the universe works. Your question might as well be "Why is it that every time I add Mentos to Diet Coke, it explodes???"

Like others have said, with the current pressures and temperatures on Earth, that's just the most stable form of life. It could be that on other planets life is silicon-based or something.

Cullion
14th March 10, 06:28 PM
What Goon needs to do is try out other arrangements of tRNA and see if he can create life.

LIFE ITSELF! LIFE!

jubei33
14th March 10, 06:57 PM
http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53026

here's some more on the subject if you're interested.

and this might be interesting as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-sulfur_world_theory

SFGOON
14th March 10, 07:00 PM
What other arrangements would be reproductively viable ?


All of them. The assignment of a particular codon to a specific amino acid is completely arbitrary. There is no greater chemical affinity for one over the other.


GOON, that's just how the universe works.

The "dead" universe behaves in a perfectly random and predictable manner. This is an extremely conspicuous piece of arbitrary consistency. A literal law of nature where there should not be one.


In regards to the question in the OP, one theory might be that there WERE other forms of digital protien systhesis instructions, but they were out-competed by what is now the only form. Or that they simply weren't robust enough to survive the extremely variable and volitile conditions oh ancient Earth.

This is a question of information processing, not of alternative biochemistry. If that were the case I wouldn't even bother asking as the answer would be quite obvious. Assume all the same mechanisms. Why aren't there different codices?


theory might be that spontaniously self-replicating complex molecules are just such a low percentage chance combination, that even in the highly energized cosmic mixer that was ancient earth, it only happened once.

There are a total of four DNA bases, four RNA bases, and 21 amino acids which are used to construct proteins (despite the existence of thousands of amino acids.)

Put all that into the whole ocean and treat it for a billion years under those conditions. With so few building blocks and so many opportunities to combine in a self-replicating manner, there's just no way in hell you're going to come away with a single viable particle. It's just way too large a number of particles on way too large a scale over way too much time for that to be feasible.

SFGOON
14th March 10, 07:06 PM
http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53026

here's some more on the subject if you're interested.

and this might be interesting as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-sulfur_world_theory

I'll read those over. It looks like I'm not the only one asking these questions.

I never come up with anything original. So sad.

Cullion
14th March 10, 07:34 PM
All of them. The assignment of a particular codon to a specific amino acid is completely arbitrary. There is no greater chemical affinity for one over the other.

I'm not familiar enough with biology, but are you sure that the other arrangments have no other life-and-reproduction hampering effects ? Has this been experimentally tested ?

Keith
14th March 10, 07:34 PM
Put all that into the whole ocean and treat it for a billion years under those conditions. With so few building blocks and so many opportunities to combine in a self-replicating manner, there's just no way in hell you're going to come away with a single viable particle. It's just way too large a number of particles on way too large a scale over way too much time for that to be feasible.

You know this how?

Self replication is a pretty spesific atribute for any molecule. The early conditions of the earth were great for creating all sorts of molecular combinations, but also great for breaking them down again. Conditions were constantly changing, so the self replication method also had to be robust in a variety of temperatures, pressures, exposure to god knows what kinds of radiation, exposure to god kows what kinds of other highly reactive chemicals, etc.

Ajamil
14th March 10, 07:54 PM
There's a lot of guesswork involved if you're tying to figure out why a specific path when all the paths might work. Why not try to get other codices to form, and figure out why they won't? BTW, does this have anything to do with left and right "handed" amino acids? IIRC, all amino acids used in biology are "left handed," but there's no reason why they couldn't all be "right handed."

danno
14th March 10, 10:44 PM
occam's razor, son.

"what are the chances? therefore creationism/omnipotent god" ain't gunna fly around here.

but good to hear you're learning this stuff.

luckily my female human studies it at uni, so i get to ask her questions after she does all the hard study.

jubei33
14th March 10, 11:24 PM
Put all that into the whole ocean and treat it for a billion years under those conditions. With so few building blocks and so many opportunities to combine in a self-replicating manner, there's just no way in hell you're going to come away with a single viable particle. It's just way too large a number of particles on way too large a scale over way too much time for that to be feasible.

actually that's what the Urey-miller experiment was about, to show that it was possible to come away with compounds more complex than the input material with just basic compounds and an energy source. There have been hundreds of variations of it by tweaking the input mix or using different energy sources.

you might apply the same reasoning and ask why when its known that reactions tend to favor the products of lower energies. Consider first Le'chatlier's principle, in which the equilibrium can be shifted by controlling the conditions to produce desired products. Consider also, that free radical reactions occur under the right conditions of heat, existant in early earth atmosphere and reproducible by experiment. It was once a standard technique (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_radical_halogenation) to leave a bottle of bromine in the window to produce bromine radicals for brominations. Given the high energy nature of a free radical, a reaction's products will be of lower energy (excluding the chain continuing reactions for the moment). The production of radicals is also favored by the structure as well with tertiary and allyl, etc being more favored than say secondary or primary for example. These factors favor more complicated structures being produced.

One more thing, these kind of reactions have found wide uses in the manufacture of plastics.

just food for thought...

Ajamil
14th March 10, 11:28 PM
Is that partly responsible for the long molecular chain in plastics? Does it cause a self-replicating (or would that be self ordering?) reaction?

jubei33
14th March 10, 11:44 PM
It can be or can. A common theme is reacting with a similar molecule to reproduce the same radical in a cyclical chain. In another shameless bit of self promotion I will direct you to anionic polymerization of a cyclical ether. (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49703) You can see that these chains can become quite large and the scale of which is even used to define the kind or quality of these preparations.

Chains in the plastics manufacture can be produced in a similar fashion. Other methods for things like styrofoam (etc) are moving towards structurally specific manufacture. Free radicals will get you your product, but usually with impurities and structural irregularities that weaken the plastic. In a plastic needed for durability or hardness or something ofthat nature, this is a problem, but for styrofoam, not so much. I had an article about ziegler-natta catalysts being used to make stereo-specific compounds I'll see if I can find it when I'm at home.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_radical_addition

if you look at the reactions at the chain propagation step, notice that the bromine radical is reproduced to continue the chain. notice also how the chains are terminated and the products produced in light of the starting material


edit:



Mechanism of stereoregular polymerization of butadiene by homogeneous Ziegler-Natta catalysts. I. Effects of the species of transition metals (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/104035720/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0)

Abstract
Butadiene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butadiene) was polymerized by catalysts of the type: metal acetylacetonate (metal: Ti to Ni in the periodic table)-triethylaluminum-aluminum halide, with various ratios of triethylaluminum to aluminum halide. The minimum cis content was observed with vanadium catalyst in all cases, while the minimum polymer yields were observed with the iron and the manganese catalysts. These transition metal effects are discussed in terms of the crystal field theory, and it is suggested that the electrostatic interaction between the nearly nonbonding electrons of transition metal atom and a butadiene molecule or a growing end of the polymeric chain plays an important role in the stereoregular polymerization of butadiene by homogeneous Ziegler-Natta catalysts.

Adakar
15th March 10, 04:06 AM
If I recall correctly the codons themselves actually cause transformational changes to the ribosomes which is what allows only certain tRNA molecules into the ribosome and allows the binding.

Basically the codon causes a change in the ribosome which allows the corresponding tRNA with the correct anti-codon to bind to the mRNA. This in turn causes a reaction in the tRNA that allows the amino acid to bind to the protein. Now I know for sure that there are multiple stop and start codons. These would be the triplets that mark the beginning and the end of the desired protein. I also believe there are multiple codons that apply to a single amino acid. There are 21 animo acids in eukaryotic cells and 64 possible codons (4*4*4).

I believe that it works the way it does because chemically the tRNA molcules that will end up adding Glutamine, for example, can only exist in a conformation that produces that anti codon and as a result if you want to add Glutamine your selection of codons is limited. Chemically it's required.

MrGalt
15th March 10, 09:58 AM
I'm still waiting for where Goon got the idea that it should have happened more than once in a billion years.

Barring that, whichever way it happened first could have led to organisms that ate whatever came up later and/or started to poison the well for anything that tried to come later.

I have a bio degree, but my studies were all on the other end of the scale, so I don't speak with any more weight than a hobo off the street on this subject.

SFGOON
15th March 10, 11:50 AM
Here's why it should have happened more than just once.

Like jubei mentioned, chemistry happens because atoms want to go to the lowest possible energy state. They do what they do for a reason.

Now, let's assume that the conditions to spark life occurred just once, and they only affected a single mole - a quantity roughly the size of your fist, say.

That mole contained 6.022 x 10^23 particles, and had a total of maybe 30-40 different bits.

With that large a number against that few variables, you're bound to have more than one particle undergo the reaction. It's just the way the Universe works.

But wait, there's more!

Know how many liters are in the oceans of the Earth? Something on the scale of 1.34 x 10^21. THAT'S A BUTTLOAD!

Now, let's arbitrarily assume a mole of organic matter is suspended in each liter. That's.....<tappity tap tap>

8.06 x 10^44 particles interacting for 1x10^9 YEARS! Gwuyven!!!

The total types of particles are comparably minuscule. 29. Raised to no power. You could almost count that high using fingers and toes.

That's 21 amino acids, 4 DNA, 4 RNA.

It should have happened more than once. And that's not even mentioning the fact that organic matter tends to float on top of water, and in the primordial soup was likely pressed up against itself in the ocean.

Finally, there are/were some life forms such as extremeophiles which have evolved in isolation for at least as long as life has existed. Yet even they are descendants of that "mother cell."

I believe that it works the way it does because chemically the tRNA molcules that will end up adding Glutamine, for example, can only exist in a conformation that produces that anti codon and as a result if you want to add Glutamine your selection of codons is limited. Chemically it's required.

Adakar, look at the chemical structure of RNA itself. The four different base types have the same phosphate/ribose groups (as does DNA.)

Structurally, the only part of tRNA which is chemically unique is on the opposite end of the polymer. Like all protiens, tRNA is large. Yet in this instance, it's specifity is not structurally related save for the codons on the distal end from the amino acid.


occam's razor, son.

"what are the chances? therefore creationism/omnipotent god" ain't gunna fly around here.

My logic is sound. Hell, I've even got maths!

I'm not talking about something that shouldn't have happened but did. That would be a cogito ergo sum thing. I'm talking about something that should have happened, but didn't.

Artful Dentures
15th March 10, 11:50 AM
Quantum twinning effects

That's now my answer for everything in life

SFGOON
15th March 10, 11:55 AM
Let me rephrase this to simplify the debate:

If the hypothesis about the origin of life is correct, why do we not observe multiple means of encoding and translating DNA information? Given that:

1. The structure of tRNA is arbitrary.

2. This arbitrary structure is shared by all organisms on Earth.

3. The conditions on primal Earth should have created biological life multiple times.

4. Pillars one and two suggest that pillar three is false.

5. If pillar four is false, then life was engendered just once on the planet.

So, we'll debate the following;

Given the above, does occam's razor suggest intelligent intervention of some sort - a "seeding" of primal Earth?

Now, I'm open even to the idea that an exogenetic colony of microbes traveled to Earth via meteorite or comet. From primal Mars, for example. That, to me, would satisfy the "intelligence" I'm talking about.

No need to invoke extra-dimensional benevolent bogeymen, who die on crosses.

Cullion
15th March 10, 02:13 PM
Without having much knowledge of biology or biochemistry I'd be surprised if 'life started from a sample of a single type of tRNA due to seeding' was sufficient to explain points 1 and 2.

Even if we conjecture something extreme, like supernatural or science-fictional intervention, you'd need more of an explanation why 3 doesn't appear to happen today.

3 not happening today suggests to me that there's something wrong with premise 1 or 2. (Either there's some reason why the other types of tRNA don't appear or survive that we're not yet aware of, or that they do appear but we just haven't come across them in a species we've sequenced yet, perhaps again because they don't last long).

It's very hard to prove something doesn't exist simply by not finding it (somebody will always say, it's out there somewhere!), so lets look at point 1.

I'd look at this by trying to engineer the simplest possible microbes with other forms of tRNA and observe what happened to them in contact with 'normal' organisms or other early-earth like environments. I don't know if that's possible yet or likely to be within the next 25 years, or whether it's already been done.

Vieux Normand
15th March 10, 02:39 PM
The conditions on primal Earth should have created biological life multiple times.

There's "should" again.

So somebody now has suffiently-encyclopaedic knowledge of ALL conditions on Earth billions of years ago, as well as equally-sufficient knowledge of present-day genetics, in addition to sufficient comprehension of how these would have interacted way back then in the midst of all the then-present variables...to make pronouncements on what SHOULD have happened?

That is indeed impressive.

UpaLumpa
15th March 10, 03:00 PM
Let me rephrase this to simplify the debate:

If the hypothesis about the origin of life is correct, why do we not observe multiple means of encoding and translating DNA information? Given that:

1. The structure of tRNA is arbitrary. [[Yes]]

2. This arbitrary structure is shared by all organisms on Earth. [[Yes]]

3. The conditions on primal Earth (could) have created biological life multiple times. [[Yes]]

4. Pillars one and two suggest that pillar three is false. [[Not at all]]

5. If pillar four is false, then life was engendered just once on the planet. [[No]]



The lack of variation in this sort of thing does not suggest what you're saying it does. Self-replication may have (probably did) happen more than once. What survived to now is, probably, from a single occurrence though. That's not too unlikely since things go extinct all the time (e.g. most mutations are lost). The extensive horizontal information transfer early on also would have wiped out a lot of the variation.

Fearless Ukemi
15th March 10, 03:00 PM
occam's razor, son.

"what are the chances? therefore creationism/omnipotent god" ain't gunna fly around here.

but good to hear you're learning this stuff.

luckily my female human studies it at uni, so i get to ask her questions after she does all the hard study.

You're invoking Occam's Razor,but how are you applying it here? I don't follow.

Cullion
15th March 10, 04:36 PM
The lack of variation in this sort of thing does not suggest what you're saying it does. Self-replication may have (probably did) happen more than once. What survived to now is, probably, from a single occurrence though. That's not too unlikely since things go extinct all the time (e.g. most mutations are lost). The extensive horizontal information transfer early on also would have wiped out a lot of the variation.

I'm glad a biologist turned up.

What stops us seeing organisms with other kinds tRNA emerging now ?

Is it that they might pop up occasionally and just die out because the overwhelming presence of the 'mainstream' kind of tRNA organisms makes the environment hostile ?

I'm guessing that there's no clear 'hostility of the mainstream' mechanism, that there's a probabilitistic demonstration somewhere that the event of a new tRNA variant forming is very low, so given the time available it's not that unusual that only one survived this long, and in the time we've been looking it's not unusual that we never saw another emerge.

Do you know where I can read one ?

danno
15th March 10, 05:15 PM
You're invoking Occam's Razor,but how are you applying it here? I don't follow.

did life begin by chance once or was it created by bearded space wizard.

Cullion
15th March 10, 05:20 PM
'Space Wizard' is not actually a proposition Goon's put forward.

Cullion
15th March 10, 05:21 PM
If we want entertainingly crazy alternatives to Darwinism we could bring Lloyd Pie into the thread.

Lebell
15th March 10, 05:24 PM
did life begin by chance once or was it created by bearded space wizard.

interesting question for occams razor.
the least improbable is likely true.
but in this case its impossible to tell.

to my logic its less impropable that a godlike force created it then that by chance we came into existance.

before anyone comes up with: yeah but sciunz tells us how te cells and electrodes interact and then..yadda yadda'
that still doesnt say one thing or the other.

Cullion
15th March 10, 05:31 PM
Has your logic included a calculation the likelihood of that chemical reaction occurring , and then seen whether 'yeah it's likely to have happened in Earth's history' has a reasonable probability ?

I haven't seen this calculation, but it's likely to exist somewhere. If it showed that the reaction was so unlikely that it was unlikely to have happened in the time available, then this tells us that many other Earthlike planets didn't develop life as quickly as us.

It might tell us something like 'only one in a million planets as habitable as Earth are likely to develop life in the time it took to develop on Earth' and this would be an excellent conservative explanation for the Fermi paradox (although an emotionally disappointing one if you're a sci-fi fan).

danno
15th March 10, 06:55 PM
'Space Wizard' is not actually a proposition Goon's put forward.

he put "creationism" in the title is all.

danno
15th March 10, 06:59 PM
to my logic its less impropable that a godlike force created it then that by chance we came into existance.

"When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question."

god is a massive assumption, especially when there is no evidence for one. it creates more questions than answers, and that makes things a lot more complicated and unlikely.

Cullion
15th March 10, 07:15 PM
It's best not to use Occam's razor actually. It's not a very sound principle at all, and it's certainly not a tool of proof. Explaining everything with 'God made it' is actually extremely simple. It's just not very satisfying because it leads a disordered and unpredictable world that operates according to an unknown being's whim.

The key flaw in Lebell's argument is that he says he find God less likely, without having actually calculated how likely the other event is, and without thinking that maybe the likelihood of that chemical reaction might simply tell us something about the frequency with which life occurs in the universe.

You mustn't forget that the dice of life aren't just being rolled on Earth, for Earth, but everywhere. If the likelihood of that chemical reaction were very low in the given time period, it might simply resolve Fermi's paradox for us, or it might exacerbate it.

This question requires mathematics.

Cullion
15th March 10, 07:27 PM
ANOTHER EXPLANATION!

qNGngZsxAhw

(Sorry for lowering the tone. But it is entertaining).

Artful Dentures
15th March 10, 08:14 PM
We all know how life truly started

Monolith

ML1OZCHixR0

Artful Dentures
15th March 10, 08:18 PM
BTW on a total derail please take note James Cameron 2001 is what Sci-fi movies are - you very talented Hack

Aphid Jones
15th March 10, 08:24 PM
ANOTHER EXPLANATION!

qNGngZsxAhw

(Sorry for lowering the tone. But it is entertaining).

If only their tablet translations weren't complete gibberish.

SFGOON
15th March 10, 11:06 PM
So somebody now has suffiently-encyclopaedic knowledge of ALL conditions on Earth billions of years ago, as well as equally-sufficient knowledge of present-day genetics, in addition to sufficient comprehension of how these would have interacted way back then in the midst of all the then-present variables...to make pronouncements on what SHOULD have happened?

That sounds like a lay fundie argument against evolution. "You weren't there!" :biblethumper:

Truth is, I am there - in a certain respect. I observe the legacy of what happened back then reflected in the state of things today.

In this debate, I am particularly advantaged by the fact that I can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the reaction of which I speak occurred at least once.

Hurr hurr tee hee.


Mainline Hostility

I've considered this.

The funny thing about nucleic acid polymers is they could feasibly reproduce on their own, (outside a cell,) given the right environment.

This no longer happens today, because anything which tries to organize it's molecules into a living thing is promptly eaten by the nearest microbe. Earth is the big leagues of biology now - no room for newcomers.

tRNA itself is synthesized from the very reaction it promotes. It's one of those "chicken or the egg" kind of things.

It's worth noting that tRNA is what a cell uses to grow (specifically, to make protiens,) - not to reproduce.

tRNA is also dependent upon a shit-ton of other, equally sophisticated processes to do it's thing.

pre-tRNA organisms would have grown by absorbing things from their environment and utilizing them in metabolism. The standard of competition would have been embarrassingly low. "I bet I could get more polymers to wash up against me than my nearest neighbor!"

The ability to synthesize protiens in situ would have conferred a massive advantage. Mainline hostility does explain 99% of why we don't see variations in translation schemes.

It's that damned 1% that's killing me. It should be there. That pre-tRNA life should still exist as extremeophiles, albeit in isolated pockets. Their evolutionary advantage being that something so simplistic is absurdly hard to eliminate. Especially when they can live in the arsenic pond or the continental divide lava vent and nothing else can.

Also, given that 64 codons are used to codify 21 amino acids leaves a lot of room for redundancy. Yet even the redundancies are identical. But so far we've found exactly zero forks.

It doesn't make any God-damn sense. We see this massive diversity in organisms, the fruits of billions of years of evolution, until you get to the molecular level.

Then it's complete, arbitrary hegemony. Unfathomable.

Vic_Viper
15th March 10, 11:07 PM
Structurally, the only part of tRNA which is chemically unique is on the opposite end of the polymer. Like all protiens, tRNA is large. Yet in this instance, it's specifity is not structurally related save for the codons on the distal end from the amino acid.




From wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRNA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aminoacyl_tRNA_synthetase

There is variety in the amount of tRNA molecules. The nematode worm has 620 genes which all code for tRNA this number is different from species to species. It also states that each amino acid can have more than one tRNA protein associated with it and more than one anticodon associated with it. For example. glycine can be coded with GGU, GGC, GGA, and GGG.

The amino acids are attached to the tRNA by Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase. These synthetases have specific amino acids they affect and the article states that it catalyzes the binding of a specific amino acid to a compatible tRNA protein. This means there are some tRNA proteins which are not compatible.

SFGOON
15th March 10, 11:23 PM
Redundancies are bound to occur when you're using three quadrinary bits to encode 21 (22 counting the stop codon) things.

Despite what you're saying, the various codons mean the exact same thing in every organism regardless of parenthetical metabolic traits.

And hey! Your example leads me to another observation. There are four glycine codons, all of which begin with GG-. So, a mutation which knocked out the last base on a tRNA so it had the anticodon CC- would be completely viable.

GC, GU, AC, CG, CC, and UC could all undergo that kind of mutation and produce a viable organism.

This is just one mechanism by which such diversity could occur. And yet....

Nothing!

Vic_Viper
15th March 10, 11:27 PM
Ah yes now I remember what you are looking for specifically. Mitochondrial DNA uses slightly different codons than nuclear DNA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_DNA

and a little snipit from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_code

Specifically


While slight variations on the standard code had been predicted earlier,[18] none were discovered until 1979, when researchers studying human mitochondrial genes discovered they used an alternative code. Many slight variants have been discovered since,[19] including various alternative mitochondrial codes,[20] as well as small variants such as Mycoplasma translating the codon UGA as tryptophan and Candida species translating CUG as a serine rather than a leucine.[21][22] In bacteria and archaea, GUG and UUG are common start codons. However, in rare cases, certain specific proteins may use alternative initiation (start) codons not normally used by that species.[19]

In certain proteins, non-standard amino acids are substituted for standard stop codons, depending upon associated signal sequences in the messenger RNA: UGA can code for selenocysteine and UAG can code for pyrrolysine as discussed in the relevant articles. Selenocysteine is now viewed as the 21st amino acid, and pyrrolysine is viewed as the 22nd.[19]

Notwithstanding these differences, all known codes have strong similarities to each other, and the coding mechanism is the same for all organisms: three-base codons, tRNA, ribosomes, reading the code in the same direction and translating the code three letters at a time into sequences of amino acids.

So they have found slight variations in certain bacteria and within mitochondria with how amino acids are coded.

SFGOON
16th March 10, 12:28 AM
That article sunk my battleship, but not in the way you think. The DNA codon variances in mitochondria are obvious derivatives and don't cast doubt on the "mother cell" hypothesis.

This bit does. I'm surprised you didn't pick up on this particular one:


Recent aptamer experiments show that some amino acids have a selective chemical affinity for the base triplets that code for them.[31] This suggests that the current complex translation mechanism involving tRNA and associated enzymes may be a later development, and that originally, protein sequences were directly templated on base sequences.

I didn't know this ^, and it shoots a big ol' fat hole in my theory.

Basically, it's saying that some, (but not all,) amino acids are slightly gayer for their tRNA anticodons than others.

Further, I'd hypothesize that the ones which are attracted to their own anticodon are the "primitive" amino acids. That would make sense with regards to ancient DNA formation. (Ancient DNA didn't encode for all the amino acids utilized today.)

Later on down the line, once tRNA was firmly in place, other amino acids were added without regard for their attraction to their anticodon.

Now - if all those amino acids were added when all life was prokaryotic or worse, that's no problem. Bacteria do this faggot thing where they exchange DNA like some kind of weird Pokemon game.

If it happened once multicellular organisms had evolved, it's a different story entirely.

Vic_Viper
16th March 10, 02:17 AM
ya I was more skimming the article looking for mtDNA stuff as that what popped into my mind originally. Though a chemical affinity between amino acids and codons would explain a lot.

Lebell
16th March 10, 02:20 AM
"When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question."

god is a massive assumption, especially when there is no evidence for one. it creates more questions than answers, and that makes things a lot more complicated and unlikely.

not in the way i see it. (god is huge assumption)
But again, it all depends on your idea of what/who God is.
If you see God as a dude with a beard sittin on a throne and stuff, then yeah, i can imagine people think thats retarded, myself included btw.
But i see now by using occams razor you should favor the evolutional theory.

jubei33
16th March 10, 03:58 AM
The funny thing about nucleic acid polymers is they could feasibly reproduce on their own, (outside a cell,) given the right environment.
.

this is actually the basis of PCR.

danno
16th March 10, 04:10 AM
It's best not to use Occam's razor actually. It's not a very sound principle at all, and it's certainly not a tool of proof.

it certainly isn't a way of proving something, just a nice rule of thumb.

another one i might apply to this is "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".


Explaining everything with 'God made it' is actually extremely simple.

i know what you mean, but i disagree. it's very difficult to find evidence that one (a god) exists, what it does, what it has done. that, to me, is a lot of work.

we have an understanding of how life may have come about through natural processes

but we have no idea how it might have come about due to a creator.

danno
16th March 10, 04:14 AM
not in the way i see it. (god is huge assumption)
But again, it all depends on your idea of what/who God is.
If you see God as a dude with a beard sittin on a throne and stuff, then yeah, i can imagine people think thats retarded, myself included btw.
But i see now by using occams razor you should favor the evolutional theory.

the closest i'll get to being a theist is simply to consider god to be the laws that govern the universe.

Lebell
16th March 10, 04:37 AM
the closest i'll get to being a theist is simply to consider god to be the laws that govern the universe.

why not.
to me, the universe, the laws of physics etc are one aspect/side of the reality in which we happen to exist.
science and religious ideas dont have to be enemies.
usually the persuit of science and religious ideas bite eachother.
it doesnt need to be the case though.

Vieux Normand
16th March 10, 09:30 AM
That sounds like a lay fundie argument against evolution. "You weren't there!"

Truth is, I am there - in a certain respect. I observe the legacy of what happened back then reflected in the state of things today.

In other words, based on what you assume to be sufficient knowledge of present conditions, you further assume that you can extrapolate complete-enough knowledge of conditions billions of years ago. Perhaps one day we'll be versed enough to do so. Today, however, to speak about what should or should not have happened is--to say the least--tantamount to claiming knowledge of all variables. Do you now claim knowledge of all conditions and variables on Earth now, billions of years ago--and of all the changes in such in the intervening time--that you can claim to know what should have occurred?


In this debate, I am particularly advantaged by the fact that I can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the reaction of which I speak occurred at least once.

This does not support your claim that it should have happened more than once.

Fearless Ukemi
16th March 10, 11:24 AM
interesting question for occams razor.
the least improbable is likely true.
but in this case its impossible to tell.

to my logic its less impropable that a godlike force created it then that by chance we came into existance.

before anyone comes up with: yeah but sciunz tells us how te cells and electrodes interact and then..yadda yadda'
that still doesnt say one thing or the other.

That is kinda what I was thinking I guess. I can't really put a higher probability on either God or total chance. I'm not a science major or a theology major, so I really don't know how to even begin to apply statistics to either option.

Ajamil
16th March 10, 02:55 PM
When you say "God or total chance," do you mean for the start of this universe, for "before the Big Bang," or for some theoretical endpoint to all the "yeah, but what came before that?"

If it's the first, since the Big Bang everything we have can be pretty well spoken for using current laws of physics. There are unknowns in them, but nothing I would say that will seriously hurt mechanistic schools of thought.

If the second, *slap.* This is trying to use tools based on receiving information set in motion by the Big Bang to see what was happening before it. Unless and until we have some way of gaining info outside the realm of the Big Bang, this is nonsense to try and put in the realm of objectivity.

The third, since theoretical, is a better realm to try and figure out such ponderings. Since "God" is such a historically loaded, anthropomorphic term, I always preferred to phrase it as whether the ultimate beginning was conscious or not.

Currently, if you wish to extrapolate the known scientific realm into the matter, the pattern seems to say that complex comes from simple, thus the odds favor the ultimate source being unconscious. My money's still on conscious.

Zendetta
16th March 10, 04:14 PM
Big Bang

Fiat Lux

SFGOON
16th March 10, 07:31 PM
Et fide est lux.

Cullion
16th March 10, 08:07 PM
I've considered this.

The funny thing about nucleic acid polymers is they could feasibly reproduce on their own, (outside a cell,) given the right environment.

<much interesting stuff I just don't understand>

Then it's complete, arbitrary hegemony. Unfathomable.

I know I'm repeating myself, but I believe this requires mathematical study by a team who, between them, are deeply versed in two subjects:-

i) Statistics and probability (to postgrad standards, from a 'math' major-like basis)

ii) The kind of understanding of the chemical reactions you're describing (and their precursors), that allows them to slot probabilities they calculate, from the molecules in the posited chain of events, into a broader 'Drake equation' where the changing environment those molecules found themselves in and the timescale involved are factored in.

Such a team would come up with a fascinating result whichever way it went.

On the one hand, as I mentioned before, they could come up with a result that explained the Fermi paradox elegantly. i.e. 'wow life is actually so improbable that it must not have happened on X other earthlike planet, hence it's no surprise we don't see aliens even though they might still exist'.

On the other, they could come up with an answer that left so many questions open. And open questions are a scientist's delight. 'This chemistry really shouldn't be that rare, and the mainline eaters shouldn't have killed them all. So where are they? and where are the aliens?'.

Goon, this obviously fascinates you. I think you should chase it with all the frenzied energy your high-IQ ADD allows. You should probably be the biochemistry dude in the team rather than try to be one of the math dudes, because you're better at that and you love it more.

SFGOON
16th March 10, 11:47 PM
In other words, based on what you assume to be sufficient knowledge of present conditions, you further assume that you can extrapolate complete-enough knowledge of conditions billions of years ago. Perhaps one day we'll be versed enough to do so. Today, however, to speak about what should or should not have happened is--to say the least--tantamount to claiming knowledge of all variables. Do you now claim knowledge of all conditions and variables on Earth now, billions of years ago--and of all the changes in such in the intervening time--that you can claim to know what should have occurred?


Sass!

Variables? Really dude? How many particles in a mole, Vieux? How many moles in the ocean? How many years in a billion years?

Know what chemical reactions happened in that time period? ALL OF THEM!

Do you know what an ultracrepidarian is? Don't bother to google - it's YOU!

Now, go stand in the corner and slap yourself in the face! I'll tell you when you can stop!


Goon, this obviously fascinates you. I think you should chase it with all the frenzied energy your high-IQ ADD allows. You should probably be the biochemistry dude in the team rather than try to be one of the math dudes, because you're better at that and you love it more.

Thanks! I really think I've found my niche with this. My professors can't tell me about a new biochemical function without me trying to figure out a way to enhance or exploit it. I can't wait to start my genomics lab seminar.

As is, I'm intrested in oncology (cancer,) cognition enhancement, and ergogenic aids (steroids, but broader in scope.) Likely the first will be a profession, and the latter two synethized at night in my basement laboratory.

Ajamil
17th March 10, 01:31 AM
Fiat LuxI dunno, sounds more like (http://faculty.washington.edu/jcramer/BBSound.html) om to me. (http://www.astro.virginia.edu/%7Edmw8f/sounds/cdromfiles/index.php)

Craigypooh
17th March 10, 02:32 AM
I didn't know this ^, and it shoots a big ol' fat hole in my theory.


And scientist have been saying exactly this ^, pretty much since science began.

Now what you need is a new theory, which fixes the hole, and then you start the debate again.

Science bless us, one and all.

Craigypooh
17th March 10, 02:39 AM
The alternative religious method is to scream "kill the heretic" and thus the debate ends until nobody "believes" the hole exists any more.

Lebell
17th March 10, 05:32 AM
When you say "God or total chance," do you mean for the start of this universe, for "before the Big Bang," or for some theoretical endpoint to all the "yeah, but what came before that?"

If it's the first, since the Big Bang everything we have can be pretty well spoken for using current laws of physics. There are unknowns in them, but nothing I would say that will seriously hurt mechanistic schools of thought.

If the second, *slap.* This is trying to use tools based on receiving information set in motion by the Big Bang to see what was happening before it. Unless and until we have some way of gaining info outside the realm of the Big Bang, this is nonsense to try and put in the realm of objectivity.

The third, since theoretical, is a better realm to try and figure out such ponderings. Since "God" is such a historically loaded, anthropomorphic term, I always preferred to phrase it as whether the ultimate beginning was conscious or not.

Currently, if you wish to extrapolate the known scientific realm into the matter, the pattern seems to say that complex comes from simple, thus the odds favor the ultimate source being unconscious. My money's still on conscious.

its aboot different co-existing realities.
most people dont get that over overlook that.
if a beetle had reasoning skills and you let it run over your hand, the beetle could not grasp the sheer power you have over it.
it can only suspect, this doesnt make the beetle or yu less real, but you do exist in other realms of reality.

as humans, to say ' we hez sciunz, there s nothing but us' is besides arrogant also pretty dumb.
we simply do not know (conclusive) one way or the other.

nifoc
17th March 10, 07:44 AM
its aboot different co-existing realities.
most people dont get that over overlook that.
if a beetle had reasoning skills and you let it run over your hand, the beetle could not grasp the sheer power you have over it.
it can only suspect, this doesnt make the beetle or yu less real, but you do exist in other realms of reality.

as humans, to say ' we hez sciunz, there s nothing but us' is besides arrogant also pretty dumb.
we simply do not know (conclusive) one way or the other.
The problem isn't wether we know conclusively, or ever can for that matter, but wether wild guesses should be given the same status as scientific evidence. Many religious people demand equal respect for their beliefs simply because they are religious beliefs, not because they have anything to back them up. As it is today science as a method has no position on deities, there simply is no reason for scientists to care. Unless someone can define a deity, thus giving scientists something to actually go look for, all we can do is note that none of our current theories NEED G_D to work. Since there is no need for a diety to make the theory work, there is no need for scientists to look for said diety. Scientists, and society as a whole, do not need to respect religious beliefs if said beliefs goes against scientific theory.

Science only clashes with religion when it proves religious guesses about the earths age wrong, and when religious groups start to interfere with scientific studies and the teaching of scientific theory. Does anyone seriously believe that Dawkins would care so much about fundies unless the fundies actively tried to discredit evolution?

WarPhalange
17th March 10, 09:05 AM
as humans, to say ' we hez sciunz, there s nothing but us' is besides arrogant also pretty dumb.
we simply do not know (conclusive) one way or the other.
We have some pretty backed-up ideas about how we got here via science. All we have about some other powers getting us here is some old books written by unknown people. If we got to Mars and right outside the astronauts' landing zone there was a rock formation that said "Jesus wuz here", that would make scientists rethink everything. But until we find some evidence, we have no reason to think there's anything magical.

Seriously, your argument is basically "Sure, it could be science... or it could be... something else."

Yeah, thanks a lot asshole. You're really contributing there.

SFGOON
17th March 10, 11:22 AM
We have some pretty backed-up ideas about how we got here via science. All we have about some other powers getting us here is some old books written by unknown people. If we got to Mars and right outside the astronauts' landing zone there was a rock formation that said "Jesus wuz here", that would make scientists rethink everything. But until we find some evidence, we have no reason to think there's anything magical.

Seriously, your argument is basically "Sure, it could be science... or it could be... something else."

Yeah, thanks a lot asshole. You're really contributing there.

Two problems with this;

1.) We're confined to the knowledge we already have when developing our theories, which are then treated as fact. This same effect is what produced religion in the first place.

2.) Life emerging from a dead universe gives too much credibility to "emo" and it's European cousin "The Futility of Human Endeavor."

Ajamil
17th March 10, 11:41 AM
1.) We're confined to the knowledge we already have when developing our theories, which are then treated as fact. This same effect is what produced religion in the first place.
Isn't this why one of the first things they do with new info gathering devices is test the "known" attributes of the universe? If something comes back unexpected, you have to explain why it did. Better to start with simple: the experiment went awry (you're wrong, not the universe), the known objects are acting differently, there is a new object.

After a while though, there's always a bias that builds up - like a plaque - that makes it harder and harder to get through the first stage of simplicity.

Consider Dawkin's call to find a single fossil that goes against evolution. I could show him plenty of cases, but since the historical narrative has been established, and since there are so many frauds and natural occurrences that can mislead geological timing, it's become standard to see any contradiction with the fossil record as an automatic human error.

Vieux Normand
17th March 10, 01:13 PM
Know what chemical reactions happened in that time period? ALL OF THEM!

My reservation regarding your pronouncement regarding what should have happened was obviously stated in too complex a fashion for you. Sorry about that. Let's try again: look at your above utterance.

Now, do you know ALL of them? All of the chemical interactions that occurred from billions of years ago to now, all the conditions in which they occurred and have occurred since, and all the other variables that could have affected those reactions?

Once you do, you might be in a position to make statements on what should or should not have occurred. Until then, you are in no such position.

Lebell
17th March 10, 02:08 PM
The problem isn't wether we know conclusively, or ever can for that matter, but wether wild guesses should be given the same status as scientific evidence. Many religious people demand equal respect for their beliefs simply because they are religious beliefs, not because they have anything to back them up.

Good point.
Even as a non atheist i say: when it comes to knowledge/facts i prefer the scientific approach.

science is as religions should be a quest for knowledge and truth.

Lebell
17th March 10, 02:09 PM
We have some pretty backed-up ideas about how we got here via science. All we have about some other powers getting us here is some old books written by unknown people. If we got to Mars and right outside the astronauts' landing zone there was a rock formation that said "Jesus wuz here", that would make scientists rethink everything. But until we find some evidence, we have no reason to think there's anything magical.

Seriously, your argument is basically "Sure, it could be science... or it could be... something else."

Yeah, thanks a lot asshole. You're really contributing there.
you are a young boy that should read better before running his mouth.
carry on.

Cullion
17th March 10, 05:57 PM
Two problems with this;

1.) We're confined to the knowledge we already have when developing our theories, which are then treated as fact. This same effect is what produced religion in the first place.

I think that depends on the person.



2.) Life emerging from a dead universe gives too much credibility to "emo" and it's European cousin "The Futility of Human Endeavor."

That's a question of perspective too. People impute all kinds of cultural or philosophical significance to scientific ideas which are simply they themselves projecting. Now I'm a libertarian and an atheist-leaning agnostic, but I can't tell you how dumb I think people are who're convinced that Darwin's ideas about how organisms adapt to their environment give them a solid template for how a human society ought to be organised politically and economically.

WarPhalange
17th March 10, 06:59 PM
Two problems with this;

1.) We're confined to the knowledge we already have when developing our theories, which are then treated as fact. This same effect is what produced religion in the first place.


This gets fixed when we get more knowledge. Can we be currently wrong? Sure. But it's stupid to say "We only have so much evidence pointing in this direction... therefore this completely unrelated thing which has no supporting facts is true instead."

Religion would be the start of every science, since you only have a few facts to work with. Religion stays when you don't gather any more facts and just assume you know everything about the universe.


2.) Life emerging from a dead universe gives too much credibility to "emo" and it's European cousin "The Futility of Human Endeavor."

The universe don't give a shit about your emotions. And in fact I would say it's amazing that we came from literally stardust. Inanimate lumps of matter that evetually developed the ability to post pictures of cats with funny captions.n

Zendetta
17th March 10, 07:04 PM
And in fact I would say it's amazing that we came from literally stardust. Inanimate lumps of matter that evetually developed the ability to post pictures of cats with funny captions.n

Agree. I think its as "miraculous" as any of the wierd shit claimed by religious believers.

Vieux Normand
17th March 10, 08:41 PM
We're confined to the knowledge we already have when developing our theories, which are then treated as fact.

That last only by those who are either unversed in or indifferent to the scientific method.

A theory is only that. A widely-accepted theory, such as evolution, is regarded so only because it is seen as best explaining such evidence as the fossil record. When a new hypothesis is advanced which--reliably and repeatedly tested--better explains the available evidence (or more compelling evidence is found for that new hypothesis), it can then become the accepted theory...until, again, something yet better comes along at an even later time. This is obviously different from treating theories as "facts".

Aphid Jones
17th March 10, 10:14 PM
Now I'm a libertarian and an atheist-leaning agnostic, but I can't tell you how dumb I think people are who're convinced that Darwin's ideas about how organisms adapt to their environment give them a solid template for how a human society ought to be organised politically and economically.

Or people who view social darwinist ideas on race and human behavior from the 1800's and early 1900's as legitimate.

In the Marriage thread I'm pretty sure someone here cited a social darwinist in the 1800's to support the notion that "humans are naturally polygamist" despite real modern evidence to the contrary.

And you still see people talking about an "Indo-European race" too.

Lebell
18th March 10, 05:14 AM
i think the main problem here is, that too many people here dont understand science, they tend to overrate it.
i liked the remark about theories-facts.
its not uncommon at all finds or testresults force the scientific comunity to discard r rewrite entire theories.
some days ago they discovered there are shrimps living under the polar ice of i believe the southpole.
they were drillling thru the ice and the camera registered a shrimp swimming by.
according to the theory it would be impossible for those animals to thrive without sunlight and warmth.

so this does NOT mean that science is crap, not at all.
but people yelling ' this is scientific fact' should really be sure what is fact and what is theory.

most of einsteins work is pure assumption, a very well made assumption, but assumption none the less.
as far as i know there has been no visual confirmation that black holes really exist.
yet on every discovery channel program they are talking about those in details like they have one in their own garden.
thats pretty tricky too, those pseudo science shows.

Craigypooh
22nd March 10, 04:57 PM
as far as i know there has been no visual confirmation that black holes really exist.


This would be difficult for something from which light cannot escape!

Cullion
22nd March 10, 05:02 PM
Hawking radiation being detected would be a strong signal.

Lebell
22nd March 10, 05:18 PM
This would be difficult for something from which light cannot escape!

i understand, but if i would be a dick i could say: why is a black hole any different from God?
'you cant possibly see it, but you have to belie....ehr... recognise the probability of it's existance!'

UpaLumpa
23rd March 10, 10:50 AM
Consider Dawkin's call to find a single fossil that goes against evolution. I could show him plenty of cases, but since the historical narrative has been established, and since there are so many frauds and natural occurrences that can mislead geological timing, it's become standard to see any contradiction with the fossil record as an automatic human error.


Really? Plenty of cases?
How about a list then.

Ajamil
23rd March 10, 02:05 PM
Forbidden Archaeology has a list. It uses a pseudo-science technique of throwing so many cases at a person it looks like overwhelming evidence, but there are still a number of times in there where a find is rejected due to human error/fraud because there's "no way" such a thing could happen naturally.

It might very well be that they are all bunk. One case they put forth as a major one is debunked here. (http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:RwclunuMA0IJ:www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mom/mortar.html+forbidden+archaeology+mortar+and+pestl e&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a) I certainly like how they mention obsidian dating rather than the changing story of the "discoverer" as the real reason why it's not accepted.

UpaLumpa
23rd March 10, 02:15 PM
Forbidden Archaeology has a list. It uses a pseudo-science technique of throwing so many cases at a person it looks like overwhelming evidence, but there are still a number of times in there where a find is rejected due to human error/fraud because there's "no way" such a thing could happen naturally.

It might very well be that they are all bunk. One case they put forth as a major one is debunked here. (http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:RwclunuMA0IJ:www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mom/mortar.html+forbidden+archaeology+mortar+and+pestl e&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a) I certainly like how they mention obsidian dating rather than the changing story of the "discoverer" as the real reason why it's not accepted.

So basically you say that there are plenty of examples but when asked for them state that they're pseudo-science and largely easily debunked. How about these ones where the rejection is attributed just to human error?

Ajamil
23rd March 10, 02:22 PM
I would have to find the book and look them up. Does it really concern you that much?

jubei33
23rd March 10, 04:46 PM
It would concern me greatly to find a large portion of my studies were a lie, yes.

Back those monkies in the cart, my lad.

UpaLumpa
23rd March 10, 05:43 PM
I would have to find the book and look them up. Does it really concern you that much?

It should concern you because you're citing these examples as clear indications of problems with our understanding of evolution. You've mentioned this as a serious problem and it seems reasonable therefore to think it might play into your own understanding of the topic. You should at least have an idea of what the fuck you're citing and basing opinions on.

Our understanding of evolutionary biology are not complete but I seriously doubt you have the slightest idea as to what the problems are. None of them are particularly relevant to the general applicability of evolution.

SFGOON
23rd March 10, 05:57 PM
Why would any PhD pass up the opportunity to disprove something as widely accepted as evolution? Doing so would put him (I'd say "or her," but let's be serious here for a minute,) in league with Newton and Darwin.

I can see that sort of file-drawer effect happening with students, but not with a tenured professor. In fact, this sort of thing is the precise reason why academic tenure exists at all.

Also, in science mathmagics, there's always room for anomalies and errors. Bioarcheological anomalies could exists for a variety of reasons, such as burrowing animals and their predators who chase them down holes. Or Mud slides. Or peat bogs. Or glacial activity. Or a lot of other shit.

UpaLumpa
23rd March 10, 06:07 PM
Why would any PhD pass up the opportunity to disprove something as widely accepted as evolution? Doing so would put him (I'd say "or her," but let's be serious here for a minute,) in league with Newton and Darwin.

Indeed. In fact this was a lot of what Gould tried to do in pushing a case for punctuated equilibrium. He argued that (a subset) fossil data did not support Darwin's idea of gradualistic evolution. That's certainly his greatest contribution in terms of actual science.

The fact that he overstated the position and that the two views are not mutually exclusive has led to diminishing the impact of his position and probably contributed to his stature not reaching what he probably wanted it to be.

Ajamil
23rd March 10, 11:30 PM
It should concern you because you're citing these examples as clear indications of problems with our understanding of evolution. You've mentioned this as a serious problem and it seems reasonable therefore to think it might play into your own understanding of the topic. You should at least have an idea of what the fuck you're citing and basing opinions on.

Our understanding of evolutionary biology are not complete but I seriously doubt you have the slightest idea as to what the problems are. None of them are particularly relevant to the general applicability of evolution.I seem to have given the wrong impression on my stance. I'll try to hit everything you mentioned here. I don't know if there's a problem with our understanding of evolution, and I wouldn't say I have any solid evidence contradicting our current position. I don't like Dawkins statement because I feel it is too...superlative.

The problem I see has nothing really to do with evolution; it is confirmation bias. The book Forbidden Archaeology stated as it's point not to debunk evolution (although they make no attempt to hide their disbelief in it, and their overall agenda to establish a Vedic paradigm), but to show that as the author went searching for cases that seemed to contradict current fossil evidence he was surprised at the number he found. Looking through the cases showed a division at the coalescing of the standard model - cases with contradictive findings were awarded equal merit before the model, and quickly became "extraordinary claims" after it was set.

Now, it might very well be (and would probably be simpler) that each and every case in the book was "hidden" and forgotten because they were properly researched and discredited in their time. Perhaps - as the linked case showed - the author failed to do enough digging. More dishonestly, perhaps the author refused to dig farther.

I would highly doubt - even if there were cases found that threw the history in a tizzy - that anything exists to change the overall evolutionary theory. Still, I just don't like such definitive statements as, "not one single fossil has ever contradicted evolution."


Why would any PhD pass up the opportunity to disprove something as widely accepted as evolution? Doing so would put him (I'd say "or her," but let's be serious here for a minute,) in league with Newton and Darwin.Funny you should mention "her," as Virginia Steen-McIntyre's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hueyatlaco) career was trashed when she stuck with her guns. I'm currently trying to find the debunking of the case, but snopes and skeptics.org have failed me.

WarPhalange
24th March 10, 01:22 PM
Lots of Ph.D.'s get shunned by the mainstream community for having unorthodox ideas. Tenure helps them keep their job, but their careers are pretty much over at that point.

Science is great, but scientists are still people, and as such, aren't immune to being close-minded idiots.

Kiko
25th March 10, 09:48 AM
Science is great, but scientists are still people, and as such, aren't immune to being close-minded idiots.

Hmmmm. I may have to file this one.

Zendetta
25th March 10, 06:59 PM
Virginia Steen-McIntyre's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hueyatlaco) career was trashed when she stuck with her guns.

LOLZ!!!

There is some pretty epic wiki-vandalism going on there, unless the site really was first excavated by Master Chief.


Overview of excavation

Master Chief led the team that first excavated the site in 3000 b.c. The dig is often associated with Captain McMillan because of her continuing efforts to publicize his opinions. However, the site was actually discovered by Gundam Epyon and a pikachu. Samus Aran joined the team in 2086 b.c. as a graduate student, at the request of project geologist Santa.

The region, about 75 miles SE of Mexico City, was known for its abundance of animal fossils, and Irwin-Williams described Hueyatlaco as a "kill site" where animals were hunted and butchered.[6]

Excavations were conducted via standard protocols, including securing the sites to prevent trespass or accidental disturbances.[7] During excavation, investigators discovered numerous stone tools. The tools ranged from relatively primitive implements at a smaller associated site, to more sophisticated items such as scrapers and double-edged blades uncovered at the main excavation site. The diversity of tools made from non-local materials suggested that the region had been used by multiple groups over a considerable period.

Ajamil
25th March 10, 11:14 PM
Uhm...wow. I should read more, skim less. The situation was familiar, so I'm pretty sure it was the lady I read about before, but that is some funny trolling.

Lebell
27th March 10, 07:51 AM
its like if evolution is real, why didnt the dolphins evolve?
it doesnt make sense.
my money is on the devine celestial rabbit.
he keeps apearing in my dreams.

Ajamil
27th March 10, 01:15 PM
The dolphins have evolved just as much as we have, but in different ways.

Hmm...that's probably not true for all species. We've evolved more than cockroaches, at least in terms of changing our physiology.

jubei33
27th March 10, 04:53 PM
You shouldn't think of evolution in the sense of, or in terms of progress. Insects for example are some of the most evolved creatures on earth. consider this, many insect species can be categorized only by the shapes and kind of male sex organs. Coleopteran insects have hind wings specifically to reduce water loss from their spiracles as well as hard water impermeable wax coated skeletons.

By most evolved i don't mean as in a contest of superiority vs. humans but having organs evolved for generally a specific use.

Ajamil
27th March 10, 06:27 PM
I was thinking more in terms of amount changed over time, rather than any specific progress. Would you agree that hominid species have changed more over time than arthropods?

jubei33
27th March 10, 07:17 PM
no, I don't think I would. Artropods include the many kinds of insects i described above. Part of their success is their high reproductive rates. You can somewhat "watch" evolution in action in mosquitoes sprayed with pesticides by observing resistances develop, for example. Human wedding tackle as well is a lot less specific for the task at hand, considering oviposition, etc.

Ajamil
27th March 10, 07:52 PM
Ok...what about specific species? The coelacanth or the cockroach. I always hear they have "remained unchanged" for millions of years. Is this simplification?

UpaLumpa
31st March 10, 06:11 PM
Ok...what about specific species? The coelacanth or the cockroach. I always hear they have "remained unchanged" for millions of years. Is this simplification?

Yes it is simplification.
Even if we wanted to go that route and suggest that dramatic morphological (or whatever) change was indicative of "more" evolution, doing so would suggest that "more" evolution wouldn't mean that you were better off than those groups exhibiting "less" evolution. It would merely suggest that the starting point was worse.

Ajamil
1st April 10, 01:07 PM
Yes it is simplification.
Even if we wanted to go that route and suggest that dramatic morphological (or whatever) change was indicative of "more" evolution, doing so would suggest that "more" evolution wouldn't mean that you were better off than those groups exhibiting "less" evolution. It would merely suggest that the starting point was worse.
It wouldn't even mean that. It would indicate the starting point's environment was different. Good enough to survive is the starting point of all us. Anything less than good enough to survive wouldn't.

Actually if you want to quantify evolution as better or worse in terms of survival, the forms that have changed the least would be the best. Cockroaches and jellyfish are kickin ass.

Cullion
1st April 10, 05:59 PM
I recently read about Fred Hoyle's (dead 20th century British Astronomer who also wrote some good sci-fi) views on this. That calculation I talked about a few pages back, apparently he attempted it, and came to the conclusion that it was vanishingly improbable, and this convinced him to move from lifelong atheism to a position of supporting intelligent design.

No, he was probably wrong. I'd like to see a critique of his calculation though. I still have a suspicion that the calculation might explain the Fermi paradox neatly.

WarPhalange
1st April 10, 08:30 PM
you are a young boy that should read better before running his mouth.
carry on.

And you should only ever open your mouth if you intend to suck my dick. Carry on, bitch.

Craigypooh
2nd April 10, 03:51 PM
No, he was probably wrong. I'd like to see a critique of his calculation though.

Not sure about his calculation but my critique of his conclusion "therefore intelligent design" would be:

Probability of life spontaneously coming into existence on earth through some bizarre series of unlikely coincidences > Probability of a magic space wizard spontaneously coming into existence and then creating life on earth

SFGOON
2nd April 10, 04:00 PM
Assuming, of course, that current scientific knowledge is both complete and accurate.

Which, it isn't. So I suggest you go to church, and learn morals, and worship Jesus.

And repent of being an ignorant slug.

I'll pray for you!

HappyOldGuy
2nd April 10, 04:05 PM
I recently read about Fred Hoyle's (dead 20th century British Astronomer who also wrote some good sci-fi) views on this. That calculation I talked about a few pages back, apparently he attempted it, and came to the conclusion that it was vanishingly improbable, and this convinced him to move from lifelong atheism to a position of supporting intelligent design.

No, he was probably wrong. I'd like to see a critique of his calculation though. I still have a suspicion that the calculation might explain the Fermi paradox neatly.

I assume you are familiar with the weak anthropic principle?

Craigypooh
2nd April 10, 04:11 PM
Assuming, of course, that current scientific knowledge is both complete and accurate.!

No, that isn't one of my assumptions. I'm assuming that a magic space wizard (who can create life, the universe and everything) is massively more powerful, complex and intelligent than any life on earth. Therefore he is massively less likely to spontaneously come in to existence.

Please pray for poor starving Africans instead.

Cullion
2nd April 10, 08:15 PM
Not sure about his calculation but my critique of his conclusion "therefore intelligent design" would be:

Probability of life spontaneously coming into existence on earth through some bizarre series of unlikely coincidences > Probability of a magic space wizard spontaneously coming into existence and then creating life on earth

Such a critique without an examination of the calculation is irrational.

Cullion
2nd April 10, 08:16 PM
I assume you are familiar with the weak anthropic principle?

Yes. Hoyle's argument was mathematical, not qualitative. Any refutation would have to be quantitative.

UpaLumpa
5th April 10, 06:23 PM
Yes. Hoyle's argument was mathematical, not qualitative. Any refutation would have to be quantitative.

Actually his argument can be dismissed qualitatively because he didn't know what he was talking about. Hoyle assumed pure randomness, which is not at all an assumption of either evolution or biogenesis.

Cullion
5th April 10, 06:27 PM
What is the accurate mathematical description of the probability of biogenisis and does it shed any light on the Fermi paradox?

WarPhalange
5th April 10, 08:23 PM
For one, opposite charges attract, so you'll have ions attracting each other, which already throws randomness out the window. Secondly, a system tends to the state of lowest energy, making certain chemical reaction occur and prohibiting others from spontaneously happening.

I don't know the numbers for that, but "random" is way off.

SFGOON
5th April 10, 08:44 PM
For one, opposite charges attract, so you'll have ions attracting each other, which already throws randomness out the window. Secondly, a system tends to the state of lowest energy, making certain chemical reaction occur and prohibiting others from spontaneously happening.

I don't know the numbers for that, but "random" is way off.


1. Dude.

2. Really?

3. RU SRS?

What kind of reactions are we talking about? Ionic lattice formation? (no) metallic electron pooling? (no) Covalent bond formation? (yup.)

Isn't that where two nonmetals (negatively charged) atoms bond? (yeah.)

Trust me, trust me when I say random is SPOT ON.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Chemistry, especially organic chemistry, cannot be reduced to high school physics.

HappyOldGuy
5th April 10, 08:46 PM
I may be wrong, but I assume the relevant randomness has to do with point mutations on genes?

SFGOON
5th April 10, 08:51 PM
Point mutations, deletion mutations, frameshift mutation, insertion mutation, deletion mutation, shrip salad, shrip samwich, shrip bone;

That's, that's about it.

EuropIan
6th April 10, 06:53 AM
Perhaps a small primer on abiogenisis is in order:

U6QYDdgP9eg

rtmbcfb_rdc

Dude who made these has a phd in molecular neuroscience

Cullion
6th April 10, 08:45 AM
For one, opposite charges attract, so you'll have ions attracting each other, which already throws randomness out the window. Secondly, a system tends to the state of lowest energy, making certain chemical reaction occur and prohibiting others from spontaneously happening.

I don't know the numbers for that, but "random" is way off.

It would be really interesting to see the numbers here. Maybe Jubei has an idea?

EuropIan
6th April 10, 10:39 AM
It would be really interesting to see the numbers here. Maybe Jubei has an idea?
Somebody did some work about it. they seem to think it might be 13%.
http://en.scientificcommons.org/55571465

The true problem with Drake's equation is the assumptions made about fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life

Ajamil
6th April 10, 11:45 AM
In regards to the two videos, the first mentions that early earth had "orders of magnitude more" complex chemistry and environmental conditions. Does that mean there were more chemicals in early planet history? What was so complex about the chemistry that isn't done today? And how do you have "more" environmental conditions? Different sure, but I would think there are more varieties of environment today than there were on early earth.

In the second video, the phrase "experiments tell us micropeptides did exist naturally in the pre-biotic environment" - how do we correlate the experiments with our observations of the pre-biotic environment?

Those are really well made vids, but must the snarkiness be there? I suppose it must. I've never heard the lipids in volcanic vents idea before. It does seem rather sound.

Ajamil
6th April 10, 11:49 AM
Somebody did some work about it. they seem to think it might be 13%.
http://en.scientificcommons.org/55571465

The true problem with Drake's equation is the assumptions made about fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
We have some idea of a number to plug in. Perhaps not advanced intelligence, but there are tool-using species besides humans on earth. So about 3 million species and what...3 species on earth use tools? I'm thinking humans, chimps, and dolphins (tentative, but some evidence). I'd also throw elephants in the running, so maybe the probability of intelligent life is .000001%.

.00000025% for advanced tool making, or one out of three out of 3 million.

EuropIan
6th April 10, 11:59 AM
In regards to the two videos, the first mentions that early earth had "orders of magnitude more" complex chemistry and environmental conditions. Does that mean there were more chemicals in early planet history? What was so complex about the chemistry that isn't done today? And how do you have "more" environmental conditions? Different sure, but I would think there are more varieties of environment today than there were on early earth.

In the second video, the phrase "experiments tell us micropeptides did exist naturally in the pre-biotic environment" - how do we correlate the experiments with our observations of the pre-biotic environment?

Those are really well made vids, but must the snarkiness be there? I suppose it must. I've never heard the lipids in volcanic vents idea before. It does seem rather sound.
why don't you ask him yourself?

As for the snarkiness.. well there is a whole youtube war going on between creationists and people who present evolution theory.

EuropIan
6th April 10, 12:00 PM
We have some idea of a number to plug in. Perhaps not advanced intelligence, but there are tool-using species besides humans on earth. So about 3 million species and what...3 species on earth use tools? I'm thinking humans, chimps, and dolphins (tentative, but some evidence). I'd also throw elephants in the running, so maybe the probability of intelligent life is .000001%.

.00000025% for advanced tool making, or one out of three out of 3 million.
dolphins use tools!?

And again, that's based on the assumption that intelligence is a deterministic product of evolution.

In addition, there are many that seem to estimate the probability to be much higher than what you suggested... And I like what you suggested.

Ajamil
6th April 10, 12:14 PM
A small group of dolphins have been found covering their face with coral (oops, sponges (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0607_050607_dolphin_tools.html)) to dig into the ground. The mothers teach their daughters this.

EuropIan
6th April 10, 12:18 PM
A small group of dolphins have been found covering their face with coral (oops, sponges (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0607_050607_dolphin_tools.html)) to dig into the ground. The mothers teach their daughters this.
Fascinating

Cullion
6th April 10, 01:49 PM
We have some idea of a number to plug in. Perhaps not advanced intelligence, but there are tool-using species besides humans on earth. So about 3 million species and what...3 species on earth use tools? I'm thinking humans, chimps, and dolphins (tentative, but some evidence). I'd also throw elephants in the running, so maybe the probability of intelligent life is .000001%.

.00000025% for advanced tool making, or one out of three out of 3 million.

The number in question isn't 'proportion of species which develop intelligence' it's 'proportion of planets with life on them which go on to produce highly intelligent life'.

I simply don't think we have enough data to answer that, and I think it's too complex to model. It'll have to be found out empirically.

We know of one planet that definitely has life, and it definitely has produced at least one form of life intelligent enough to send radio waves into space. So that's 100% (of a uselessly small sample)

If we find another place with life, but no advanced intelligence (simple life might exist in a couple of places in our solar system), the fraction will drop to 50%, perhaps even 33%, or 25% if we're really, really lucky within our solar system.

We might be able to detect some fraction 'likely' life at a distance by studying the atmospheres of extra-solar planets. We'll miss loads though, without being able to send instruments and probes that can send data back within reasonable timespans at light speed.

We're only going to be able to confirm advanced intelligence at those distances (with known physics) by receiving an signal, or possibly seeing some ancient, battered voyager-type probe come tumbling into our solar system. Both these methods might be completely improbable within the next billion years if intelligent life that wants to communicate is sufficiently rare.

SFGOON
6th April 10, 04:31 PM
I'd say that in any robust ecosystem, sooner or later some strain is going to choose "smart" as it's adaptation and become a cerebral singularity, which becomes a technological singularity, which becomes a spiritual singularity, which explodes under the might of it's own awesomeness and engenders a new universe in it's own image.

EuropIan
6th April 10, 05:02 PM
I'd say that in any robust ecosystem, sooner or later some strain is going to choose "smart" as it's adaptation and become a cerebral singularity, which becomes a technological singularity, which becomes a spiritual singularity, which explodes under the might of it's own awesomeness and engenders a new universe in it's own image.
ie. they invent holodecks and thus end their civilization.

HappyOldGuy
6th April 10, 05:04 PM
ie. they invent holodecks and thus end their civilization.

We're there (http://www.fleshlight.com/build-your-own/).

EuropIan
6th April 10, 05:15 PM
We're there (http://www.fleshlight.com/build-your-own/).
not quite (http://billsmovieemporium.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/blade_runner.jpg)

Ajamil
6th April 10, 10:12 PM
Both these methods might be completely improbable within the next billion years if intelligent life that wants to communicate is sufficiently rare.
Even if a civ wants to block signals, they would first have to know they are creating them, which means they would've had to figure out a way to create them first. So from a secretive civ. I would expect a period of "contact," followed by an abrupt end.

EuropIan
7th April 10, 02:53 AM
our own random radio signals kinda dissipate into useless noise after about 0,5 or so lightyears.

bob
7th April 10, 02:57 AM
Most of them start out that way as well.

Craigypooh
8th April 10, 10:31 AM
Such a critique without an examination of the calculation is irrational.

No it isn't. I don't care how unlikely it is that life, in the form of watery bags of meat, spontaneously emerged - it must be more likely than a magical space wizard spontaneously emerging, then getting bored and magically creating watery bags of meat.

WarPhalange
8th April 10, 10:52 AM
The magical space wizard didn't emerge, it was always there.

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 10:54 AM
No it isn't. I don't care how unlikely it is that life, in the form of watery bags of meat, spontaneously emerged - it must be more likely than a magical space wizard spontaneously emerging, then getting bored and magically creating watery bags of meat.
Which is fine as an opinion. It's one I share. But if all you can say is, "it must be true" then all it is is an opinion.

Craigypooh
8th April 10, 12:31 PM
Which is fine as an opinion. It's one I share. But if all you can say is, "it must be true" then all it is is an opinion.

By the same token the concept of God is just an opinion.

The original point was "it is incredibly unlikely for intelligent life to spontaneously emerge given our current knowledge of the process, therefore we must accept that there is a designer". I'm simply pointing out that this argument is missing a very big step - where did the magic space wizard come from and why is that more likely?

This is simply a rehashing of the old chestnut "If you found a watch in a desert then you'd assume there was a creator." Of course I would, but that's because I know process by which watches are made by watchmakers and can assess the likelihood of that compared to the watch being produced by any natural process.

Cullion
8th April 10, 12:37 PM
No it isn't. I don't care how unlikely it is that life, in the form of watery bags of meat, spontaneously emerged - it must be more likely than a magical space wizard spontaneously emerging, then getting bored and magically creating watery bags of meat.

That's irrational. Calculate the likelihood. Don't just say 'it is!!!11!!'. That's all you're doing. You're simply starting with an a priori assumption. Critique Hoyle's calculation and do it properly.

Fearless Ukemi
8th April 10, 12:37 PM
If the magic space wizard created space-time, then you can't really say it spontaneously came into existance.

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 01:01 PM
By the same token the concept of God is just an opinion.


Yes

Craigypooh
8th April 10, 01:30 PM
That's irrational. Calculate the likelihood. Don't just say 'it is!!!11!!'. That's all you're doing. You're simply starting with an a priori assumption. Critique Hoyle's calculation and do it properly.

My critique is that he only did half the job. The hard part is inventing a process by which a magic space wizard pops into existence with a greater probability than life emerging on earth.

It is clearly unreasonable to ask me to prove no such process is possible.

Cullion
8th April 10, 01:35 PM
If the answer was actually 'space wizard' then no process is necessary because we would by definition be talking about something unconstrained by logic or immutable, mathematically describable laws.

It is not unreasonable, however, to do a calculation and then say 'by random chance, this is vanishingly unlikely'. When that happens in this case, there's a good chance the calculation is wrong. So we should try and show it's wrong.

It could easily be that Hoyle simply didn't understand chemistry well enough. I'd like to see it.

Or you can just posit an infinite number of unverifiable other universes full of atoms.

Ajamil
8th April 10, 02:27 PM
XwItV8IZ9ls
(Scientists are the bear.)

EuropIan
9th April 10, 10:14 AM
^ur doing it wrung

kO1rfdDjNGI

Craigypooh
9th April 10, 01:25 PM
If the answer was actually 'space wizard' then no process is necessary because we would by definition be talking about something unconstrained by logic or immutable, mathematically describable laws.

It is not unreasonable, however, to do a calculation and then say 'by random chance, this is vanishingly unlikely'. When that happens in this case, there's a good chance the calculation is wrong. So we should try and show it's wrong.

It could easily be that Hoyle simply didn't understand chemistry well enough. I'd like to see it.

Or you can just posit an infinite number of unverifiable other universes full of atoms.

It is a misinterpretation of statistics to say "by random chance, this is vanishingly unlikely" therefore "magic space wizard did it". You have to show that the alternative is more likely. You can't prove God with statistics.

It is incredibly unlikely that I will win the lottery through random chance, it is more likely that I will die in the hour before the draw. But if I do win, it doesn't prove I'm good at picking numbers, or the magic space wizard wanted me to win.

Fearless Ukemi
9th April 10, 02:43 PM
I picture most true atheists (which are pretty rare) as pompous science nerds who is 100% rational and logical and doesn't consider anything that isn't empirically verifiable.

Most people who call themselves athesists are actually agnostic.

EuropIan
9th April 10, 02:53 PM
Do you mean "i suppose it's possible but it's really unlikely and so far hasn't mattered either way"?

That's usually defined as weak atheism

Fearless Ukemi
9th April 10, 03:01 PM
That's agnostic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

EuropIan
9th April 10, 03:08 PM
Oh hey, I've got a wiki link as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_and_strong_atheism

EuropIan
9th April 10, 03:11 PM
I need more people to subscribe to apatheism

Fearless Ukemi
9th April 10, 03:24 PM
Oh hey, I've got a wiki link as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_and_strong_atheism

I've never heard of weak atheism, but from your link, it's synonomous with agnosticism. Basically just fence sitters that won't take the leap of faith either way; for or against God(s).

Most of these people eventually take a definitive stance one way or the other.

EuropIan
9th April 10, 03:42 PM
So you know for certain that god doesn't exist?

Fearless Ukemi
9th April 10, 03:46 PM
Quite the contrary, actually.

Also, those that call themselves atheists, but believe in karma are believing in a universal consciousness whether or not they admit it to themselves.

EuropIan
9th April 10, 03:50 PM
I need more people to subscribe to apatheism
I don't believe in the supernatural. I think it's a null concept.

Ajamil
9th April 10, 04:01 PM
I need more people to subscribe to apatheismFeh. Why?


I don't believe in the supernatural. I think it's a null concept. Superposition sure sounds supernatural to some. Sufficiently advanced technology and all.

EuropIan
9th April 10, 04:10 PM
Feh. Why?

Because wasting your time trying to prove or disprove the unprovable is a sisyphean task



Superposition sure sounds supernatural to some. Sufficiently advanced technology and all.
What's so special about overlapping waves? And even if it seems like magic, it isn't. We just don't know what it is yet.

Ajamil
9th April 10, 11:17 PM
Because wasting your time trying to prove or disprove the unprovable is a sisyphean taskWhich makes it the ultimate pastime!


What's so special about overlapping waves? And even if it seems like magic, it isn't. We just don't know what it is yet.
The mildly-better-than-Christian-pseudo-science journal Savijnanam (http://www.binstitute.net/journal/index.php) has taken things like superposition to be an indication of the universal form of the Lord. Omnipresence does seem awfully similar to information traveling instantaneously. Krishna says He's in every atom, you know.

EuropIan
10th April 10, 01:35 AM
Which makes it the ultimate pastime!


Pffffffffft we have videogames and porn now.



The mildly-better-than-Christian-pseudo-science journal Savijnanam (http://www.binstitute.net/journal/index.php) has taken things like superposition to be an indication of the universal form of the Lord. Omnipresence does seem awfully similar to information traveling instantaneously.
that's like saying lighting is the wrath of the gods


Krishna says He's in every atom, you know.

That's like saying the universe is god, that is, replacing one term with another.

Ajamil
10th April 10, 10:40 AM
Pffffffffft we have videogames and porn now.
We wouldn't if everyone stopped caring.


that's like saying lighting is the wrath of the gods
You could. I prefer to think it was the person's actions that caused it - even if that cause is reduced to the circumstances that led the person to be standing there.


That's like saying the universe is god, that is, replacing one term with another.J2oEmPP5dTM
Yes, no matter how big you imagine either god or the universe to be, the only real difference is the concept of the whole thing having will and awareness. Some don't even attribute those to god, so the difference is less.

EuropIan
10th April 10, 02:16 PM
We wouldn't if everyone stopped caring.

On the contrary, we have those things because we needed to talk about something other than an undefinable concept.


You could. I prefer to think it was the person's actions that caused it - even if that cause is reduced to the circumstances that led the person to be standing there.


Not struck by lightning just lightning in general.



[letscaalthewholethingoff]
Yes, no matter how big you imagine either god or the universe to be, the only real difference is the concept of the whole thing having will and awareness. Some don't even attribute those to god, so the difference is less.

Most define it as something outside of the universe that affects the universe. The other approach is just sublimating one definition for another. And yes, while you can definitely do that, it doesn't affect the debate in either way.

Ajamil
10th April 10, 02:30 PM
On the contrary, we have those things because we needed to talk about something other than an undefinable concept.We are corporeal beings with corporeal needs. Once you master said need, the skill simply becomes a distraction.



Not struck by lightning just lightning in general.It gave us life, it can take it away.



Most define [quantum foam/the replicating universe idea/branes/M Theory] as something outside of the universe that affects the universe. The other approach is just sublimating one definition for another. And yes, while you can definitely do that, it doesn't affect the debate in either way.I agree. Back to SCIENCE!! Because whatever you believe the results are always fascinating and bring you just one step closer to finding out the truth.

UpaLumpa
13th April 10, 10:41 AM
It is not unreasonable, however, to do a calculation and then say 'by random chance, this is vanishingly unlikely'. When that happens in this case, there's a good chance the calculation is wrong. So we should try and show it's wrong.

It could easily be that Hoyle simply didn't understand chemistry well enough. I'd like to see it.

Again, the issue is that Hoyle improperly assumed a random process. Evolution is not random.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 10, 10:43 AM
Evolution is not random.

How do you know that?

UpaLumpa
13th April 10, 11:37 AM
How do you know that?

We know that based on observation and the testing of theory.

Evolution is often talked about as though it were a purely random process. While stochastic processes are certainly important in evolution, and can often confound the operation of deterministic processes, such discussions are inherently flawed due to this flawed understanding.

Evolution encompasses both stochastic and deterministic processes and many of the arguments about the "improbability" of 'X' occurring almost always apply the distributions of the stochastic mechanisms to the deterministic components. That is a flaw in Hoyle's argument and why qualitative arguments suffice to dismiss his assertions.

It is incredibly disingenuous to estimate probabilities solely on the basis of mutation and drift while ignoring the determinism of selection. It also is ironic given the utility of genetic algorithms for estimation of problems lacking analytical answers.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
13th April 10, 11:46 AM
A good point thanks. I thought that maybe your were pointing to evolution having some sort of overall plan, rather than it being a random local event in the universe.

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:32 PM
It is a misinterpretation of statistics to say "by random chance, this is vanishingly unlikely" therefore "magic space wizard did it". You have to show that the alternative is more likely. You can't prove God with statistics.

That isn't the argument I made.



It is incredibly unlikely that I will win the lottery through random chance, it is more likely that I will die in the hour before the draw. But if I do win, it doesn't prove I'm good at picking numbers, or the magic space wizard wanted me to win.

If the odds against you winning the lottery were, say, 1 in 49 million (as I believe is the case for the UK jackpot) and you started winning it every week, at what point would you suspect that the process wasn't random ? After a year? After a decade ?

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:43 PM
Again, the issue is that Hoyle improperly assumed a random process. Evolution is not random.

Are you talking about Evolution, or Abiogenesis now? Because Hoyle's argument was purely about Abiogenesis.

Quantify the deterministic processes that specifically invalidate Hoyle's calculation. Correct his calculation. What is the correct result ? Does it explain the Fermi paradox? Does it intensify it?

UpaLumpa
13th April 10, 06:32 PM
Are you talking about Evolution, or Abiogenesis now? Because Hoyle's argument was purely about Abiogenesis.

It applies regardless. Things don't need to be living to evolve and they don't need to be living for selection to operate. You know that.

Prions and virons both evolve and both respond to selection. Whether or not viruses are alive is arguable, prions certainly don't fit any working definition of "life".

Hoyle argued about the probability of end products randomly coming together, that's stupid and wrong.



Quantify the deterministic processes that specifically invalidate Hoyle's calculation. Correct his calculation. What is the correct result ? Does it explain the Fermi paradox? Does it intensify it?

Math is not needed to dismiss Hoyle's calculation and I don't need another doctorate.
As for Fermi, you're conflating a bunch of arguments and that's an entirely different thread.

UpaLumpa
13th April 10, 06:34 PM
A good point thanks. I thought that maybe your were pointing to evolution having some sort of overall plan, rather than it being a random local event in the universe.

Nah, I certainly wouldn't argue any sort of teleological nonsense. I'll leave that to Dobzhansky.

Cullion
13th April 10, 06:44 PM
It applies regardless. Things don't need to be living to evolve and they don't need to be living for selection to operate. You know that.

Evolution and selection don't happen without reproduction. There's a dividing line where molecules that don't reproduce begin copying themselves. I'd like to understand that dividing line and how to calculate the probability of it occurring.

Clearly there is some determinism to reach this stage (based on the laws of organic chemistry), I'd just like to see it quantified.



Prions and virons both evolve and both respond to selection. Whether or not viruses are alive is arguable, prions certainly don't fit any working definition of "life".

Hoyle argued about the probability of end products randomly coming together, that's stupid and wrong.

I thought Hoyle's argument about Abiogenesis centred on the chemical reactions leading to reproducing molecules, rather than complete microbes. Is that not so?



Math is not needed to dismiss Hoyle's calculation

It might not be needed to show faulty assumptions about chemistry and microbes, but I would like to see a realistic calculation for what's mentioned above.



As for Fermi, you're conflating a bunch of arguments and that's an entirely different thread.

We mix up topics all the time here. I'm not arguing in favour of creationism, because I'm not religious. Making the simple point that things are unlikely to have occurred by magic is kind of 'preaching to the choir' on Sociocide. Most of us aren't from the US bible belt dude.

Looking at the probability of Abiogenesis occurring from non-reproducing molecules would give an insight into some basic questions about frequency of life in the universe, which is a much more interesting question.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
14th April 10, 05:17 AM
It applies regardless. Things don't need to be living to evolve and they don't need to be living for selection to operate. You know that.

Prions and virons both evolve and both respond to selection. Whether or not viruses are alive is arguable, prions certainly don't fit any working definition of "life".

How does that work? Doesnt there have to be a selector, some thing that is capable of making a choice?

Cullion
14th April 10, 05:20 AM
Upa forgot that it doesn't apply without reproduction, and at some point non-reproducing molecules combined to form reproducing ones. That's really the critical moment at which evolution began. It's the probability of this event I'm interested in.

Craigypooh
14th April 10, 04:10 PM
That isn't the argument I made.

It was the one I originally took issue with.



If the odds against you winning the lottery were, say, 1 in 49 million (as I believe is the case for the UK jackpot) and you started winning it every week, at what point would you suspect that the process wasn't random ? After a year? After a decade ?

I suspect the police would be investigating after 3 in a row. Would a defence of "the magic space wizard did it" work?

Cullion
14th April 10, 04:23 PM
They'd have to prove it was something other than the wizard to prosecute.

UpaLumpa
14th April 10, 05:51 PM
Evolution and selection don't happen without reproduction. There's a dividing line where molecules that don't reproduce begin copying themselves. I'd like to understand that dividing line and how to calculate the probability of it occurring.

Clearly there is some determinism to reach this stage (based on the laws of organic chemistry), I'd just like to see it quantified.


I thought Hoyle's argument about Abiogenesis centred on the chemical reactions leading to reproducing molecules, rather than complete microbes. Is that not so?

No it is not. Hoyle's estimates were for the set of enzymes needed for the operation of a cell. He did not calculate or even attempt to calculate the probability of simple replicating molecules. This is important because we know that monomers and by extension polymers can spontaneously arise under a large variety of conditions. The step from polymer to self-replicating polymer is a lot less than from simple molecules to operating metabolisms. Hoyle's 747 comments are based on the later rather than the former.

With his calculations Hoyle implicitly assumed irreducible complexity, like Dembski, when that's the least parsimonious explanation for cells. We know this to be dumb. As an aside, Hoyle's calculations assume independence between non-independent event which further inflated his "estimates".

Hoyle did make statements about proteins but did not present estimates, which would be dismissible based on his assumptions of irreducible complexity anyway.



Looking at the probability of Abiogenesis occurring from non-reproducing molecules would give an insight into some basic questions about frequency of life in the universe, which is a much more interesting question.

No it wouldn't because you'd also need to know the probability of similarly reductive environments and combinations of molecules. That's impossible since we don't have a tiny inkling of what the probability of other earth like planets is. Also to work off earth estimates assumes that the earth route was necessary rather than merely sufficient. Basically what you're asking for is impossible.

Further, regarding Fermi, given that we've only been monitoring radio for less than a dozen decades, that the universe has been around for billions of years and the closest planet to our solar system is over 10 light years away, I don't find his questions troubling. You're talking about a very small window when humans have actually been paying attention.



How does that work? Doesnt there have to be a selector, some thing that is capable of making a choice?

No. All that needs to happen is that one thing gets copied more.



Upa forgot that it doesn't apply without reproduction, and at some point non-reproducing molecules combined to form reproducing ones. That's really the critical moment at which evolution began. It's the probability of this event I'm interested in.

That may be the probability you're interested in but that is not what Hoyle was calculating. My comments have been about Hoyles lame-ass estimates.

Craigypooh
15th April 10, 01:15 AM
They'd have to prove it was something other than the wizard to prosecute.

Not necessarily:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Clark

This was a case of someone being wrongly prosecuted on the basis that it was unlikely that any natural cause was responsible.

Perhaps it was simply an omission by the defence lawyers not to employ the "magic space wizard" defence?

UpaLumpa
15th April 10, 10:55 AM
Not necessarily:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Clark

This was a case of someone being wrongly prosecuted on the basis that it was unlikely that any natural cause was responsible.

Perhaps it was simply an omission by the defence lawyers not to employ the "magic space wizard" defence?

The prosecutor's probabilities on that one are a clear demonstration of Hoyle & Dembski's approach to math. Hilarious because many of the smae points are made there as have been made here.

Cullion
15th April 10, 12:25 PM
The case was won by correcting the probabilities by uncovering other mechanisms, which is what I asked for. You just can't assume that one always exists without demonstrating it.

Craigypooh
16th April 10, 12:14 PM
The case was won by correcting the probabilities by uncovering other mechanisms, which is what I asked for.

The conviction was ultimately overturned through showing the probability calculation was erroneous. However, the original conviction was simply on the basis of showing natural causes was improbable, without having to prove how the murder was committed.


You just can't assume that one always exists without demonstrating it.

Oh yes I can. I can assume whatever I want. You're not the assumption police.

Cullion
16th April 10, 12:22 PM
I'm thinking of banning you.

bob
16th April 10, 11:25 PM
I wish I could find it astonishing that a man could become a Professor of Pediatrics with that shaky a grasp of statistics.

bob
16th April 10, 11:29 PM
Reading further, he as good as killed that woman and for his trouble got struck off for a year and then reinstated.

Cullion
17th April 10, 02:30 AM
He was involved in several cases like this where he gave dubious statistical evidence over a period of years. This one's prominent because the poor woman ended up killing herself.

Cullion
17th April 10, 02:31 AM
I wish I could find it astonishing that a man could become a Professor of Pediatrics with that shaky a grasp of statistics.

Medical doctors aren't actually expected to be particularly good mathematicians, but people tend to treat the opinions of somebody with an MD as the Word of God when it concerns human life and death.

Craigypooh
17th April 10, 03:42 AM
Medical doctors aren't actually expected to be particularly good mathematicians, but people tend to treat the opinions of somebody with an MD as the Word of God when it concerns human life and death.

The problems really start when the MDs think they're God too. You would have thought Meadows would have been quite contrite after the Royal Statistical Society had stated that his analysis was "full of shit" (I believe that is an exact quote). But no, he carried on defending his crappy analysis.

bob
17th April 10, 03:45 AM
Medical doctors aren't actually expected to be particularly good mathematicians, but people tend to treat the opinions of somebody with an MD as the Word of God when it concerns human life and death.

The fact that he was a 'Professor' implies that he had some kind of background in research beyond a standard medical degree.

Cullion
17th April 10, 05:16 AM
Still doesn't mean he was involved in any kind of rigorous statistics. There are swathes of research science where you don't need to know much mathematics beyond a good highschool standard.

bob
17th April 10, 05:40 AM
That should have been enough.

Vieux Normand
18th April 10, 01:39 PM
I agree. Back to SCIENCE!! Because whatever you believe the results are always fascinating and bring you just one step closer to finding out the truth.

Depends on the scientists. Sometimes, a theory becomes subject to knee-jerk-thinking and is then represented as fact, rather than the best conclusion given the available evidence.

When this happens, then the basic premise of the theory can suddenly become "holy". A month ago, the CBC radio show "Quirks and Quarks" presented a physicist who reminded us that the basic premise of a geocentric universe was thought to be "fact". When it was discovered that some celestial objects were not showing up "on time" in the sky after having circled the sphere-at-the-centre-of-the-universe (Earth), observers didn't question the basic premise of the geocentric universe...they worked in some "extra loops" and such in the orbits of the less-than-punctual celestial objects. That "crutch" restored consistency to the geocentric-universe theory.

The physicist then fast-forwarded us to the "big bang theory". He related that the discovery that the rate of "universal expansion" was accellerating, rather than slowing down, had to be explained away or the basic premise of a big bang would be on much shakier ground. The answer: the concoction of "dark energy"...a phenomenon which has yet to be observed--but which must be present, or the premise of a big bang is suddenly on shakier ground.

Hearing this, I wondered. When Hubble's red-shift-related findings indicated this universal expansion, people then said: "So, if we set time on a reverse-course, everything will crunch toghether--so, in forward time, there must have been a time when everything was in one singularity which then went 'boom'."

What I wondered was, when it was discovered that everything was becoming more distant from everything else at an ever-accellerating rate, did people subject this finding to the same "so-if-time-were-reversed-what-would-happen" test? If one does this, everything comes back together at an ever-decelerating rate. How, then, does one even know that it all crunches together at the "beginning of time"? Maybe the universe, in time-reverse, would only contract so far, but not all the way to an "original singularity".

It doesn't seem that this question is being asked--as if the big bang were a fact rather than a currently-widely-accepted theory. Insead of challenging the basic premise, theoreticians invent "dark energy" to prop it up.

Dark matter is another, um, matter. It seems only observable via its effects on light from distant stars trying to get through it. Apparently, there are distortions. Given the lack of knowledge regarding the basic nature of "dark matter", it is reasonable to assume we know little about the light that does manage to pass through it. Maybe Hubble's red-shift has an explanation that does not involve celestial objects which are receding from us. Maybe the light-distortions attributed to "dark matter" are caused, not by any kind of near-unobservable "matter", but by swirls and eddies in space-time itself. Perhaps these distortions prevent light from anything farther than thirteen billion light-years away from getting to our instruments. If there is anything further out, then the "vast-but-finite" observable universe--whether caused by an initial big bang or not--may be nothing than a local phenomenon in an infinite universe. One theory, so many questions.

I've always wondered why some of the same people who were ready to accept a big bang also rejected evolution. Obviously, the former is consistent with "fiat lux" and so on, but not the latter. This may also be a cultural bias that worked its way into the current prominence of the big bang theory itself.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia asserts that any notion of an infinite universe must be incorrect because "it is inconceivable". The same organisation sees no such trouble with a deity which "surpasseth all understanding". One is believable, it seemeth, while the the other is not.

In any case, a theory--no matter how well-accepted--is still a theory. Even basic premises can be open to question when phenomena arise which call them into question. That's what makes science so objectionable to those who seek comfort in some kind of a "firmament"--and that's what makes science such a joyful adventure for the rest of us.

Cullion
18th April 10, 02:00 PM
That should have been enough.

Remember that nobody in the courtroom saw the problem with what he was saying.

Ajamil
18th April 10, 09:57 PM
Depends on the scientists...In any case, a theory--no matter how well-accepted--is still a theory. Even basic premises can be open to question when phenomena arise which call them into question. That's what makes science so objectionable to those who seek comfort in some kind of a "firmament"--and that's what makes science such a joyful adventure for the rest of us.That's also why I put "the truth" in italics. I think the Big Bang is easier for some to accept over evolution because it still implies (in their mind) that someone caused the Bang to happen, and that it seems to be implied within the creationist stories.

UpaLumpa
18th April 10, 10:58 PM
In any case, a theory--no matter how well-accepted--is still a theory. Even basic premises can be open to question when phenomena arise which call them into question. That's what makes science so objectionable to those who seek comfort in some kind of a "firmament"--and that's what makes science such a joyful adventure for the rest of us.

The emphasized part... deserves emphasis.