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Thread: Is there a life chemical?

  1. #1 Is there a life chemical? 
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    I have been wondering about life. Is there a chemical which is present in your body throughout the whole of your life, but which leaves your body the moment you die? I believe that there is no such chemical.

    If there is, then maybe that chemical controls life. If there is not, then maybe the existence of life is a topic beyond the reach of conventional science.


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you are right : there is no such chemical

    however, this does not mean that the study of what makes something alive is beyond the ken of science


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
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    Then what does it mean?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post
    Then what does it mean?
    What does what mean?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    There are many chemicals within your body and they all can be studied and have been studied to understand what they do and how they affect you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post
    Then what does it mean?
    If you mean "what does life mean? what makes you think it means anything?"
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  8. #7  
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    Hmm.....

    Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that involves carbon compounds. This is as close as I can think of a certain chemical in a body throughout life, although others exist as well.

    I agree with you that no chemical leaves a body when life ceases. Life ceases because/when certain coordinated chemical reactions cease. In other words, life is certain coordinated — and rather complex — chemical reactions.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  9. #8  
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    The question got me thinking a bit.
    If there was a life chemical that leaves the body on death adenosine triphosphate would come close to filling the bill. I don't know of any living things that do not use ATP.
    It is unstable and is constantly being made by living things. It degrades upon death.

    However as exchemist said, life is a complex chemical reaction.
    I only add that life might be meaningless, but if it stops it is almost impossible to restart.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post
    Then what does it mean?
    it basically means you're asking the wrong question

    life is an epiphenomenon of when materials and energy flow to keep a creature out of energetic equilibrium with its environment
    scientists have long realised that there is no such thing as a "life force" or a "life chemical" that is somehow breathed into an organism to make it alive

    it's more like death is when the machinery stops moving for lack of raw materials to feed off, or because something in the machinery is broken

    out of interest, you might want to read Erwin Schrodinger's "What is life?" - it clearly shows that scientist have long ago given up on thinking of life as a simple presence or absence of a simple compound
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    btw, you DO realise that your OP is a total non-sequitur and an example of a false duality ?

    why should the statement "there is no such chemical [which gives life when present and leaves when you die]" even have to lead to the conclusion that "the existence of life is a topic beyond the reach of conventional science" ?

    it just doesn't compute
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    btw, you DO realise that your OP is a total non-sequitur and an example of a false duality ?
    Is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    why should the statement "there is no such chemical [which gives life when present and leaves when you die]" even have to lead to the conclusion that "the existence of life is a topic beyond the reach of conventional science" ?
    Because if life can be explained scientifically, then I would expect the presence of a life chemical to be at least theoretically possible.
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  13. #12  
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    Why would you think that? Do you think all complex emergent properties can be boiled down to one chemical species? Are you genuinely that ignorant of science or (as I suspect after reading your posts in the thread about the constancy of the speed of light) are you just on the troll?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    btw, you DO realise that your OP is a total non-sequitur and an example of a false duality ?
    Is it?


    surely you must realise that the available options for explanation are far wider than (1) there is a life chemical and life can be explained scientifically; and (2) there is no life chemical and science can't explain life - by insisting that there's only these 2 options, you're creating a false duality

    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    why should the statement "there is no such chemical [which gives life when present and leaves when you die]" even have to lead to the conclusion that "the existence of life is a topic beyond the reach of conventional science" ?
    Because if life can be explained scientifically, then I would expect the presence of a life chemical to be at least theoretically possible.
    and that's the non-sequitur : the fact that science can or cannot explain life doesn't have any bearing on whether a life chemical exists or not
    that would only follow if science could only explain life through the existence of a life chemical, which is clearly not the case

    equally clearly, you have not even dipped into Schrodinger's "What is life?", have you ? if anything, it gives at least another perspective into how you can look at life rather than through the presence or absence of a life chemical
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  15. #14  
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    marnixR, thank you for the book recommendation.

    PhDemon, please do not accuse me of being "on the troll" as you put it? I am on this site because I am trying to learn more about science.
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    I have come to the conclusion that there is no meaning to life after pondering it for YEARS.

    It is so apparently obvious if you really think about it.

    You may think as most scientist do the reason of life is to find out how it works.

    Well what if we never even thought of that question, for example a dog. I doubt it thinks of those questions yet it still lives. Does it have a purpose? Not really I mean they do stuff just like humans but does life have a purpose?

    What is life?

    These are questions that can ONLY be answered by yourself. For example the no meaning to life is obvious to me although you may not see it the same way, but as you learn more outside view of how the world works and that we are really just a bunch of energy/matter there is no meaning to life.
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    I do stuff that I "enjoy" but what is joy? Joy is simple a state that your brain has evolved to have to reward itself for doing actions good for survival.


    Emotions are simply survival features.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    You may think as most scientist do the reason of life is to find out how it works.
    Citation needed.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    You may think as most scientist do the reason of life is to find out how it works.
    Citation needed.
    I don't need a citation, there are living humans today who prove it.

    Steven Hawking, renowned scientists has said several times he is devoting his whole life to science.

    So to him THAT is the meaning of life, and I have heard many scientists also say they believe this is the meaning of life in numerous documentaries
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    I don't need a citation, there are living humans today who prove it.
    Wrong on both counts.
    You DO need a citation for such a wide-ranging claim, and whatever individuals claim doesn't prove things.

    Steven Hawking, renowned scientists has said several times he is devoting his whole life to science.
    Which happens to be Hawking's opinion about his own purpose.

    So to him THAT is the meaning of life
    I.e. not a declaration that it is "the" purpose of life.

    and I have heard many scientists also say they believe this is the meaning of life in numerous documentaries
    Right.
    But you (think you) don't need to reference them.

    Your statement was:
    most scientist [think] the reason of life is to find out how it works.
    This is untrue.
    Most scientists may have decided that their individual purpose is discovery, but it's certainly not a scientific statement about "the" purpose of life.
    It's no more valid than a serious football fan declaring that the purpose of life is watch/ play soccer.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    I don't need a citation, there are living humans today who prove it.
    Wrong on both counts.
    You DO need a citation for such a wide-ranging claim, and whatever individuals claim doesn't prove things.

    Steven Hawking, renowned scientists has said several times he is devoting his whole life to science.
    Which happens to be Hawking's opinion about his own purpose.

    So to him THAT is the meaning of life
    I.e. not a declaration that it is "the" purpose of life.

    and I have heard many scientists also say they believe this is the meaning of life in numerous documentaries
    Right.
    But you (think you) don't need to reference them.

    Your statement was:
    most scientist [think] the reason of life is to find out how it works.
    This is untrue.
    Most scientists may have decided that their individual purpose is discovery, but it's certainly not a scientific statement about "the" purpose of life.
    It's no more valid than a serious football fan declaring that the purpose of life is watch/ play soccer.

    Are you kidding you must have not even read the rest of my post before cranking on it.

    "What is life?

    These are questions that can ONLY be answered by yourself. "
    Newbie to Science, trying to educate myself on this forum and further my scientific knowledge.

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  22. #21  
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    BTW All science is, is finding the how the universe works, so essentially every scientist is doing that but like I said in my other posts the meaning of life is a question only an individual can answer. I even said my meaning of life wasn't to find how universe works, it's just something I like doing.
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  23. #22  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    Blah blah blah
    In other words you're now essentially retracting the claim(or pretending you didn't make it), having realised you were wrong.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    Blah blah blah
    In other words you're now essentially retracting the claim(or pretending you didn't make it), having realised you were wrong.

    The original quote you made was in the same post as the quote I just posted...

    I am not retracting ANY claims, I made multiple claims of which you are confusing into 1 claim.

    Also to further prevent any of your cranks, here is the original citation you asked for

    "

    Almost 52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation compared with only 14 percent of the general population.

    Read more at: Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame

    "

    52% > 50% = Most
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    which you are confusing into 1 claim.
    That would be why I quoted just the one claim would it?
    That would be why I asked for a citation for just the one claim?
    So now you're also confessing to making contradictory claims in the same post?

    Also to further prevent any of your cranks, here is the original citation you asked for
    "Almost 52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation compared with only 14 percent of the general population.

    Read more at: Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame"

    52% > 50% = Most
    Can you tell me how you managed to parse "not religious" into "declared that the purpose of life is to find out how it works"?
    Could you tell me where in the linked article it states that "finding out how life works is the purpose of life" is a scientific finding as opposed to a choice by each individual?
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceNoob View Post
    which you are confusing into 1 claim.
    That would be why I quoted just the one claim would it?
    That would be why I asked for a citation for just the one claim?
    So now you're also confessing to making contradictory claims in the same post?

    Also to further prevent any of your cranks, here is the original citation you asked for
    "Almost 52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation compared with only 14 percent of the general population.

    Read more at: Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame"

    52% > 50% = Most
    Can you tell me how you managed to parse "not religious" into "declared that the purpose of life is to find out how it works"?
    Could you tell me where in the linked article it states that "finding out how life works is the purpose of life" is a scientific finding as opposed to a choice by each individual?

    Religion is the explanation for how the universe came to be.

    Curiosity of how we got here is the #1 thought of humans in this world in my opinion.

    It causes laws to be changed, people to be killed, and even people to kill themselves all for how they believe the universe came to be.

    In fact until the past thousand years or so, almost every human being believed in a religion.

    So if you don't believe in a religion it is safe to assume you are atheist which likely means you believe in science.


    So you are write I misspoke. I basically said if you get punched in the eye you get a black eye, you are saying well only if the punch is hard you you will get a black eye.

    I get it, thanks for the correction I see my current statement was quite broad now.
    Newbie to Science, trying to educate myself on this forum and further my scientific knowledge.

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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesceptic View Post

    Because if life can be explained scientifically, then I would expect the presence of a life chemical to be at least theoretically possible.
    Well, it's not just content, but order and arrangement as well that is important. Take apart a bicycle, line up all the pieces, you no longer have a bicycle, or at least not the kind can you ride around town, even though nothing is missing. With living things, you need energy conversion and a certain order or arrangement, which can sometimes (or rather eventually) be irreparably damaged.
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    ^Like.
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