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Thread: Life never comes from non-life? Bullshit!

  1. #1 Life never comes from non-life? Bullshit! 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    I heard a few weeks back from my biology teacher that life does not come from non-life. I looked at it a bit and I call bullshit on that.

    If all hold true, then life comes from non-life

    If the sun is energy
    If tissue is made up of cells
    If a producer absorbs the sun's energy and turns non-bio mass into bio mass
    then the non-bio mass is formed into biomass which creates tissue for the entity and the non-biomass (sun) is now the producers biomass, which means that the tissue or outer layer is made up of cells that were converted from non life, into life.
    Is this correct? Then that means that energy can be converted into life and energy itself is not living.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    You shouldn't equate production of biomass by an organism to abiogenesis.

    I'm assuming you're talking about the theory of biogenesis created by Redi and demonstrated by Pasteur. Which states that life comes from life, this holds true today because any organic molecules that could possibly come into existence spontaneously are consumed by organisms. However, in the absence of life and in a reducing atmosphere abiogenesis is possible.


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    However, in the absence of life and in a reducing atmosphere abiogenesis is possible.
    Assumed possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    However, in the absence of life and in a reducing atmosphere abiogenesis is possible.
    Assumed possible.
    Not just assumed because it is convenient. There are a few theories out there that are good candidates for abiogenesis. The final picture might even be a combo of a few of them. There are levels of assumption and in this case, it is not a blind and unwaranted one to make.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  6. #5  
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    Verzen wasn't talking about abiogenesis, so we may as well confirm his point.

    You can bake the life out of a pot of soil, in a kiln. Then sprout one tiny poppy seed in it, adding water and sunlight. Eventually that pot will be packed with roots. Life from non-life, undeniably.

    Abiogenesis is debatable.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    However, in the absence of life and in a reducing atmosphere abiogenesis is possible.
    Assumed possible.
    Seeming more likely by the day. The work of biochemists such as Gerald Joyce shows us that the RNA world hypothesis of abiogenesis is quite feasible, especially given the great time and conditions present on the early Earth.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    You can debate abiogenesis as long as you keep in mind that in this debate one side isn't science.

    There is either a natural explanation for the birth of life, or a supernatural one.

    no middle way.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    either... or

    no middle way.
    There's another outside the box: life is ubiquitous.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    either... or

    no middle way.
    There's another outside the box: life is ubiquitous.
    Are you saying life just always existed? It just popped out of the big bang with everything else?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    There is ample evidence that abiogenesis is plausible. In fact there are a number of experiments that produce similar constructs from what we believe to be earths ancient atmosphere. We have no direct non-life to life experiment yet, but the steps are there and it's only a matter of time. Gather all the evidence and report your biology teacher on grounds of being inadequate. She should be fired for such a blatant display of ignorance.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-urey_experiment should lead you to further experiments for various steps.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    life is ubiquitous.
    Are you saying life just always existed? It just popped out of the big bang with everything else?
    Ah, you got to the crux of it. Ubiquitous life (some brand of panspermia) and Big Bang aren't very compatible. On the other hand, ubiquitous life would then be factored into physics and ...I suspect... could replace some of Big Bang's solutions with its own. The main one is entropy... and hey what a coincidence life is essentially anti-entropic.

    That's a strange hypothesis, but time is on my side. Humanity is a perfectly good example of life in the universe. Look at us objectively: We do aim to spread life throughout the universe, don't we? So revisit this if/when life's ubiquity is established fact. Hope it's when not if? Then logically you would hope my hypothesis correct.

    My idea does not rule out abiogenesis.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    We do aim to spread life throughout the universe, don't we?
    If you define spreading throughout the universe as remaining well within a tiny area of the biosphere of the planet earth, and occasionally some individuals venturing out to lower earth orbit.
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    You think it unnatural that fish crawled out of the water? It seems to me that life must inevitably pioneer wherever possible, and stretch the envelope of possible. Maybe we won't but something's bound to, right?

    Biology, meet cosmology.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    It's more common that species go extinct than that they seek out a new environment.

    the ratio is probably 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999999999999999999999 - 0
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    That's probably not entirely true spurious. Well, it probably is for anything that specializes in an environment or niche, but for generalists it probably isn't. Generalists have a great capacity to move through environments- look at german and american cockroaches, many mouse species, many passeriformes, some charadriformes, Orcas...the list goes on and on. Things like little frogs that need a hyperspecific niche, on the other hand, probably aren't going to go pioneering anytime soon.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Birds seek out new environments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Birds seek out new environments.
    Thanks for the contribution, pertinent and relevant.

    If you notice, it's generalist birds that do this in droves, not specialists. Birds that have a single food source are bound by that food source. Birds that will eat anything, such as many corvids (especially crows and ravens) have found success everywhere they went.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    species
    I meant evolution not species. Over aeons. We can't imagine what future "birds" may colonize environments now considered inhospitable. We just know life does this. It gets into everything.

    Great evolutionary leaps aren't easy, but in retrospect they seem natural. A marine snail lays eggs in a tide pool. Some terrestrial animals thrust themselves up out of a gravity well.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    99.9% of all species have gone extinct.

    That is a hard fact.

    The human species has so far shown no indication of being motivated to venture out in space and colonize space other than writing science fiction novels on it, which are only read by a small percentage of the population: men with a certain inclination.

    That is a fact.

    Currently it is too expensive to shoot a human into lower earth orbit, so we do it as little as possible. Never mind having a colony outside earth.

    That is a fact.

    You optimism towards science fiction is admirable, but it isn't based on biological reasoning. You can be the generalist you are, but you don't see raccoons colonizing the universe either. Space isn't a habitable environment for any species evolved on earth. It is as hostile as it can get. Some bacterial lines 'survive' exposure. Nothing thrives.

    That leaves the cocoon option. Hop from planet to planet, from habitat to habitat. Optimists predicted this would have happened right now. And at this moment we are further from it than ever.

    I would say fine if there was a trend visible.


    There is none.
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    Cool down man. When I say "we" here I mean life in general, evolving over billions of years, not any extinctable species like homo sapiens and certainly not animals acting alone.

    I think our view may be distorted by removing ourselves from the picture, or alternately, supposing ourselves ultimate. I'm counting humanity as another example of what life does naturally, not a special case and not the end of story.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    There is either a natural explanation for the birth of life, or a supernatural one.

    no middle way.
    There used to be. If the Steady State Theory was correct, then the universe always existed and life has been there throughout. Our inability to contemplate an eternal past would not have presented a problem to the eternal universe. (And no God would be required. (Or automatically excluded))
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  23. #22  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Cool down man. When I say "we" here I mean life in general, evolving over billions of years, not any extinctable species like homo sapiens and certainly not animals acting alone.

    I think our view may be distorted by removing ourselves from the picture, or alternately, supposing ourselves ultimate. I'm counting humanity as another example of what life does naturally, not a special case and not the end of story.
    I'm as cool as Venus.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I'm as cool as Venus.
    Really? That's odd. My residence is on the surface of the sun. :P
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    Wrong Darius. Miller's experiments and the like did not produce reasonable links to life.

    Clearly abiogenesis happened - at least once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907
    Wrong Darius. Miller's experiments and the like did not produce reasonable links to life.

    Clearly abiogenesis happened - at least once.
    I strongly disagree. These experiments show that the basic building blocks of life can be created in a natural environment. Things our most basic cells are made out of, and ultimately the stuff of DNA/RNA, has been created in labs. "life" itself has yet to be, but if we can create the building blocks why not the organisms themselves? Do explain how the ball of logic stops rolling.
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  27. #26  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    The ball of logic probably hit the wall of religion.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  28. #27  
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    Ah yes, truely a strong wall.
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    Eh, observer exceptionalism is also a wall.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Ah yes, truely a strong wall.
    it's only as strong as the ignorance used as mortar though
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    Dogma is more the wall and its own mortar, so the point is somewhat moot. Wait, there's a point?
    Om mani padme hum

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  32. #31  
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    I think dogma chased the ball of logic beyond the moot.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    For the most part life comes from life...prokaryotes to eukaryotes to fish to reptiles to apes to humans..simple to complex...the earlier poster who said something about planting a seed after soil is placed in a kiln..but the seed is alive so that is not something coming from nothing. Yes, possibly the collision of primordial elements during the Big Bang can be at least partially replicated and prove that life can come from such interactions but are elements themselves alive? Would we even recognize life at such a minuscule level? Maybe it's beyond our grasp at this point in time.
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    Of course life came from nonlife - at least once. Unlike the well-accepted theory of evolution that explains the progression of life after the event, there are no accepted models on how that may have occurred. From Miller to current,. it's just alot of speculation supported by the odd experiment.
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  35. #34  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I'm going to make a list:

    1. there is life.

    2. life seems to have a single origin: common descent.

    3. Implication single ancestor (as in single ancestral line).

    4. the ancestor didn't appear out of a magicians hat.

    5. the building blocks of life were present on early earth.



    How many conclusions can we reach based on this list? And which one is best?
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  36. #35  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    The magic worm popped out from the realm of imagination to grant us life because he loved us so much!
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  37. #36  
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    6. The building blocks, including the water, rained down from space.


    Abiogenesis could have occurred in early solar system, which was disc-like and more probably than Earth included the "sweetest" conditions.

    I can't see how Earth is required here.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  38. #37  
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    Water rained down from space. Sure!

    Why involve earth - just expose the incipient life arising elsewhere to the rigors of space travel and the alien environment of the earth. Sure!
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    can someone help me understand why the idiot keeps putting on a helmet to crash into the wall? Wouldn't it be alot more efficatious to just not put on the helmet so the 'repeat' cycle could be avoided?
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  40. #39  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907
    Water rained down from space. Sure!

    Why involve earth - just expose the incipient life arising elsewhere to the rigors of space travel and the alien environment of the earth. Sure!
    It actually is believed that the majority of Earth's water did come from comets in the early stages of the solar system's development.
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  41. #40  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Whether building blocks rain from space or are farted out by the crust doesn't matter for the chain of logic.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Whether building blocks rain from space or are farted out by the crust doesn't matter for the chain of logic.
    Perhaps if we can show it's plausible to get proto cells from lifeless matter in any way then we can worry about the specifics . If it works one way, then the door is open for alternative methods and the starting conditions implied. So far we've managed to generate amino acids and nucleotides from organic soup, and synthesise limited self-replicating RNAs. There's a way to go yet... and we may have to settle for a less than definite answer.
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    please don't swear. it's unneccessary and offends many people



    however you are correct life can, has, and will come from non-life


    your example is flawed, life does not come from energy, life uses the energy of the sun to manufacture it's food



    however life originated from various non-organic compounds. the resounding theory is various basics of life, certain amino-acids, H+ ions, water molecules etc existed on a comet, when said comet smashed into earth these compounds completely by a one in a 1x1090000 chance happened to join and form a very simplistic form of organism
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Perhaps if we can show it's plausible to get proto cells from lifeless matter in any way then we can worry about the specifics .
    LOL good point. But regardless we'll soon have relevant data from extraterrestrial samples, which will clinch it one way or the other. The ambiguous scenario would be finding all the right ingredients and theoretically ripe conditions, yet no sign life ever existed.

    @Booms. Today's comets, like the present planets, represent a tiny residue of the former solar system. Prior to and around life's appearance on Earth, the system literally overflowed with (often watery) planetoids, which occupied any orbit conceivable. Under those conditions, objectively, the odds of abiogenesis are most favorable... more favorable than any one body like Earth. Earth life is like algae in the last puddle of a dry riverbed. We've realized only lately that a river flowed over this puddle, so the traditional assumption life must have originated here is excusable. But I wish folks would revisit their logic as premises change.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms
    however life originated from various non-organic compounds. the resounding theory is various basics of life, certain amino-acids, H+ ions, water molecules etc existed on a comet, when said comet smashed into earth these compounds completely by a one in a 1x1090000 chance happened to join and form a very simplistic form of organism
    That's pretty far from any of the hypotheses on how life originated. It was almost certainly not a one-step process nor instantaneous.
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Perhaps if we can show it's plausible to get proto cells from lifeless matter in any way then we can worry about the specifics .
    LOL good point. But regardless we'll soon have relevant data from extraterrestrial samples, which will clinch it one way or the other. The ambiguous scenario would be finding all the right ingredients and theoretically ripe conditions, yet no sign life ever existed.
    Actually that could be really, really interesting too. Find what's missing and perhaps we discover something. If we can't, then we've got a clearer idea of just how likely those early reactions really are.
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    lol = pong has inside information!

    Soon have data from extraterrestials????? Even if there were life, it's unlikely to tell us much about our origins
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907
    lol = pong has inside information!

    Soon have data from extraterrestials????? Even if there were life, it's unlikely to tell us much about our origins
    Must you dismiss everything without at least trying to think about it? It's getting really tiresome.

    We've good reason to be hopeful that we'll discover some form of microbial extraterrestrial life within the coming decades. If and when we do, it is likely to be incredibly informative to evolutionary biology.
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  49. #48  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I don't share your optimism.

    Biologists are mostly not first in line to be shot into space.

    At the moment hardly anyone is in line to be shot in space.

    Apparently extraterrestrial life isn't abundant otherwise we would already seen it, making the chance of encountering it with the minimal effort we are putting in it unlikely.

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  50. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    P = 0.0000000000000000000000001
    you missed out a 0
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  51. #50  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I thought nobody would notice.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Biologists are mostly not first in line to be shot into space.
    They don't go poking their fingers into deep sea vents either.

    Optimism is nice, but my point is we just don't have much data yet. And we are going to get it. That will tell us one thing or another about life's origins. Until then we shouldn't be so sure.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  53. #52  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Biologists are mostly not first in line to be shot into space.
    They don't go poking their fingers into deep sea vents either.

    .
    Those are more common than you think. I had a relationship with one.

    P = 0.000000000001
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