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Thread: Abiogenesis and the Origin of Life

  1. #1 Abiogenesis and the Origin of Life 
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    Hi Everybody! I was wondering about the Origin of Life. What is currently known? I haven't studied up on it too well (compared to what I know about evolution) but I have made a video about it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v-cd_EU99g

    What do you guys think? Was there anything I should've included?

    Peace,
    AigBusted


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  3. #2  
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    Current papers revolve around the emergence of homochirality, and the (lack of) plausibility of RNA as the first genetic material. The contributions of membranes to the establishment of cells is also an area of great interest sat present.

    What has been established and is not as heavily studied, currently, is the ease of formation of many important molecules under various abiotic conditions. There is still some research in this area, but generally speaking interest has shifted to membranes etc.

    Go to Google Scholar, and click on advanced search. There, enter key words such as 'prebiotic earth' or abiogenesis (etc). Constrain your search to the past year or thereabouts, as you will otherwise primarily be returned articles from the 70's and 80s.

    You'll quickly get a feel for 'what's new.'


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    Our predesseors terraformed the planet so that life could exist here, then they set yr 1 students the challenge of designing some life forms, hence they were a bit poo to begin with. Gradually the designs got better and improved until you got bipedal creatures with lawnmowers.

    This is closer to the truth than you realise.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    oh, great - god as the kindergarten project
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    Our predesseors terraformed the planet so that life could exist here, then they set yr 1 students the challenge of designing some life forms, hence they were a bit poo to begin with. Gradually the designs got better and improved until you got bipedal creatures with lawnmowers.

    This is closer to the truth than you realise.
    So, you're some sort of i.d. theorist? How do you defend this position, and where did the designers come from?
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    There are many theories about the very beginning abiogenesis, panspermia, What are the first organic molecules, religion etc.
    Whatever the truth is, as of today there are just theories but not by a longshot a general consensus about it.

    "The world is where we live our lifes. The universe is the shell that imprisons us from the truth beyond. Because if we knew the truth, our final judgement would no longer be pure. Only when we die we will find truth beyond the speed of light, beyond the universe."
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    Quote Originally Posted by aigbusted
    So, you're some sort of i.d. theorist? How do you defend this position, and where did the designers come from?
    Note that Crick and Orgel in their 1970(?) paper suggested directed pan spermia for the origin of life on Earth. They conceived of an earlier abiogenic origin elsewhere in the Universe, but that the Earth was then seeded by intelligent, space travelling entities.
    While we should reject Intelligent Design as being unscientific, I see no need to do the same for intelligent design.
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    Excuse me, but when did "creationism" become "Intelligent Design"? I've been wondering this for a while. It seems like some ridiculous attempt at trying to conform in a world that's, slowly but surely, drowning out religion in as many areas as possible.

    Seriously. "Intelligent"? Religion? HAH!
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  10. #9  
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...of_the_concept

    The modern use of the words "intelligent design", as a term intended to describe a field of inquiry, began after the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), ruled that creationism is unconstitutional in public school science curricula. A Discovery Institute report says that Charles Thaxton, editor of Of Pandas and People, had picked the phrase up from a NASA scientist, and thought "That's just what I need, it's a good engineering term."[55] In drafts of the book over one hundred uses of the root word "creation", such as "creationism" and "creation science", were changed, almost without exception, to intelligent design.[16] In June 1988 Thaxton held a conference titled Sources of Information Content in DNA in Tacoma, Washington,[44] and in December decided to use the label "intelligent design" for his new creationist movement.[56] Stephen C. Meyer was at the conference, and later recalled that "the term came up".[45] The book Of Pandas and People was published in 1989, and is considered to be the first intelligent design book,[57][23] as well as the first place where the phrase "intelligent design" appeared in its present use.[58]
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    What is intelligence?
    Do we have the same definition stored in our brains? Or do we google up the same definition? The first hit listed or rather on one of the next pages?

    Science like religion cannot answer the origin of life either, I think. Sure fancy theories all contradicting eachother. Panspermia! no way prof. Henry It's abiogenesis.
    To me religion and science stand on the same level when questions of such grandeur are at hand. Religion has no proof but does science have? They are only leads in my eyes. Just as the classical example states: If Ben speaks spanish, It doesn't mean that he is from Spain.
    The same goes for these questions. Just because there are fancy theories about the origin of life, it doesn't mean that they are correct or more intelligent than creation. Who is a man to play the judge here?
    There is only belief. Belief that is derived from yourself, your perspective on Life. There are actually a lot of very sophisticated morals and codes of behaviour in the bible and I would personally respect them even though I don't share the same perspectives. Yeah, the way the bible discribes creationism is way into the metaphisical realm and there is no way any law of nature would allow a man to walk on water. Glorification? As if he could?
    Also science can bring up very intelligent designs to explaining the origin of life. I chose to study Biology for a reason you know. Theories with proper scientific proof will be leading untill proven false. But a scientist, like a believer, are both humans that are not immune to flaw.
    Or maybe there is a grudge towards one side or the other?
    Anyways all these theories are as much a dream as religion is. I know how scientists like to tackle believers in discussions like they can't put in any proof. Scientists can never really either. The empirical system might itself be infected with flaw. Like i said, a lead doesn't mean it has to be true. Especially when there are many different theories about the same question. That, alone assumes there is still no intradisciplinary certainty. It's what makes life so interesting. A correlation between A and B doesn't mean they have anything to do with eachother. Like nature can incorporate a strategy in evolution independently in matter-at-hand A and matter-at-hand B. There are probably a lot of scientific facts out there, right now, that will be proven false in some years.
    Watch out for assumptions, especially when questions are involved that can only be answered with could-be theories. I think creationism is as good a hypothesis as panspermia is about the origin of life. To me it's all a matter of which side (religion or science) can capture the most (influential) followers thus influencing social life, educational systems, etc. All about indoctrination and gaining power by capturing more followers. Calling one side unintelligent is very pre-emptive.

    But, probably already having ruined any first impressions in this post, I believe in darwin But thats all it is to me, a belief or personal perspective on life if you will.
    Only a belief like religion is. Surely not a fact I can know for sure.
    The unknown is everywhere, even in human "order" Like a never ending jigsawpuzzle we try to solve using our own strategies based on (proper?) indoctrination. Sometimes we solve a part of the puzzle, sometimes we try a piece and find out it doesn't fit.
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    First welcome to the forum. Please don't take any of my criticisms personally: it's just my way.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    Science like religion cannot answer the origin of life either, I think. Sure fancy theories all contradicting eachother. Panspermia! no way prof. Henry It's abiogenesis.
    No. Science is quite unlike religion in this regard. Religion (most religions) has an answer today, that is pretty much the same as the answer yesterday, which will be practically indistinguishable from the answer tomorrow.
    Science changes its answers in response to observation and improved interpretation and understanding of those observations. This approach allows science to advance, while religion tends to become atrophied.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    .
    To me religion and science stand on the same level when questions of such grandeur are at hand.
    Then you are quite mistaken, for the reasons noted above.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    .The same goes for these questions. Just because there are fancy theories about the origin of life, it doesn't mean that they are correct or more intelligent than creation. Who is a man to play the judge here?
    .
    Man is the entity who has been gifted with the powers of observation, the ability of rational thought, and the skills of reasoning. Armed with the scientific method he has the power and the ability to ferret out the answers to many complex questions. The origin of life is one of these. You are correct that we do not yet have a complete or detailed answer, but we have a convincing general overview of what must have occured.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    . But a scientist, like a believer, are both humans that are not immune to flaw.
    You are absolutely correct. Humans are flawed and so, from time to time, produce flawed results. We have every reason, however, to believe that the scientific method is not flawed and will, over time, generate the correct result.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    .There are probably a lot of scientific facts out there, right now, that will be proven false in some years.
    And I don't like yellow shoes. So what? What does that have to do with the price of cabbage in Bavaria?
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    . To me it's all a matter of which side (religion or science) can capture the most (influential) followers thus influencing social life, educational systems, etc. All about indoctrination and gaining power by capturing more followers. Calling one side unintelligent is very pre-emptive.
    To believe in creation, in a fundamentalist sense, you must act upon faith. I have little doubt that faith has certain survival characteristics, but it is not rational. Over time the organism that acts in an irrational fashion is less likely to survive. This suggests to me, at least, a lack of intelligence.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyrichie
    .I believe in darwin But thats all it is to me, a belief or personal perspective on life if you will.
    Only a belief like religion is. Surely not a fact I can know for sure.
    That isn't very rational. You can explore the fundamentals of Darwinism and neo-Darwinism (though why we are bringing those up when discussing the origin of life, I do not know) and demonstrate to yourself their validity.
    Certainly it is a premise of the scientific method that some observation could overturn it all, but the depth, breadth and substance of the evidence for it so extensive that we can comfortably say that evolution of heritable characterisitics by natural selection is as factual as anything in the Universe.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor captaincaveman's Avatar
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    aigbusted have you any links to the man made creation of a virus from scratch, i'd seriously like to read that article, sounds interesting :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    aigbusted have you any links to the man made creation of a virus from scratch, i'd seriously like to read that article, sounds interesting :-D
    There is a link in the description. I'll go ahead and post it for you though:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2539
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by aigbusted
    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    aigbusted have you any links to the man made creation of a virus from scratch, i'd seriously like to read that article, sounds interesting :-D
    There is a link in the description. I'll go ahead and post it for you though:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2539
    much appreciated, 5years old and it totally skipped me by
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  16. #15  
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    Religion on par with Science:

    Should you find yourself visiting the International space station one day, and have the choice of two re-entry vehicles, would you take the one build and tested by scientits or the one hand made by priests with a button saying 'press and pray for the landing destination god shall answer your prayer and make the capsule drift in the exact trajectory', which one would you take the scientific capsule or the religious capsule? but wait I'll throw in an extra to make it easier on you, the religious non-thermal insulated capsule has even been blessed by a priest an imam and a rabi for tripple the protection!
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  17. #16  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    As for the creation of life,

    our brain works in associations and contrast, black and white, simple labels make life easier to understand even if it does not reflect reality

    by the same token, Life and death, or life and inert, are two simplistic labels that are arbitrary, reality is a spectrum of interaction and complexity, so its never been about total inert matter magically switching overnight to the extremely complex interations we call life.

    in a sense there likely was a gradual progression in chemical interactions that lead to the various large molecules, replicating molecules, symbiotic-like molecular associations, proto-organisms and proto-organism associations that preceeded the first living cells
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