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Zebbeddee
Two theories labelled Biogenesis and Abiogenesis;

Biogenesis - The theory that life can only come from life

Abiogenesis - The theory that life can come about from non-life

Biogenesis is observed all around us, life makes life, but what evidence is there that life can come about from non-life. It, as yet, has never been observed, yet it is stated as fact under evolutionary thinking. (It has also been said by many leading evolutionist "There is no law of nature that can be sayed to bring about information or order sufficient to produce even the simplest life", So why do so many believe it if it is not supported by observations as a science should be)

Can life come about from Non-life?

(This is NOT a debate of evolution vs creation but about the origin of life, Can it come about by chance?)
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Engineer Kimov
I stand on abiogenesis positions. I cannot see why life cannot be synthesed.

The main reason why many scientists deny abiogenesis is the fact that it is negenthropic process (which is pretty obvious). So, there is NO proof that birth of life should necessarily occur during process of matter reorganisation throughout Universe. But there is also STATISTICAL factor. Like I said, life genesis is negenthropic process, so it has much less probability of successing then probability of failing. But, hell, even in Milky Way galaxy there are HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of stars, and there are lots of galaxies in our Universe. Statistically, life MOST LIKELY should born somewhere. And here we are.
nileriver
The current tools/knowledge humanity has to offer cannot as of yet give an answer to the question.

this link i will provide goes about as far as i know of what we do know so far, the advance in genetics is helping the process of discovery.

a good site.

The thought of life being nothing more then the advancement of a chemical reaction is not a pleasant thought to many, or sounds outlandish and dumb. Life from life leads me on a quest that seems almost like a paradox. Though i guess one could speculate that life is just a natural part of the physical universe, but that is just speculation.
Engineer Kimov
To add, scientists didn't even succeeding in making 100% functional definition of life.

IS A VIRUS A LIVING BEING OR NOT?

Scientists still argue on this question.
Zebbeddee
The conditions for life have to be so perfect and life is amazingly complex, only now with massive main frame computers are we even beginning to match the storage capacities and complexity of DNA. Yet you in no way would say that a computer could come about by chance yet you would attribute this to the generation of multiple levels of unnimaginable complexity.

It has been observed that amino acids could form in nature given the right conditions but still to form even the simplest life you need exactly the right amino acids to join together to form proteins (which in themselves are incredibly complex) then these must have the ability to form the double helix and be folded into a stable form before they are destroyed as the are not very stable and break down if they are not maintained so very quickly something needs to 'evolve' to keep the life code from wasting away.

How is it possible for all this to ever come about by random encounters and chance collisions. It is theoretically possible but the chances are even lower than 1 in 10 ^ 80 (the number of atoms in the universe).

Abiogenesis - I don't think so
Engineer Kimov
QUOTE
"How is it possible for all this to ever come about by random encounters and chance collisions. It is theoretically possible but the chances are even lower than 1 in 10 ^ 80 (the number of atoms in the universe)."


I do not agree. We must compare this not with number of atoms in our Universe, but with number of COMBINATIONS these atoms may form. And even if chances are lower, there is still a probability - like I said, life birth is negenthropic process.

Let's see stages we need to create life. First of all, we need formation of organic compounds. Hydrogen and carbon - the basic elements present in almost any star (hydrogen is form of nuclear fuel, carbon is product of nuclear fusion). Second - formation of amino acids. Formation of them with single reaction is mathematically unlikely. But that doesn't mean they cannot be formed gradually. Graduation of any process GREATLY rises probability. Same is applied to formation of proteins.

But of course, it is nothing more than speculation.
nileriver
10^80 is the number of the atoms in the universe, no one knows the size of the universe. Odds are a funny thing, there is parts you can miss about them, for instance, there is a 50/50 chance of getting a side A or side B each time i flip a coin, what are the odds of a 100 flips coming out to be 50/50. Does the amount of flips either being side B or side A impact on the overall of the 50/50 each time i flip the coin? would the results bare a statistical chance of variation each time i fliped the coin 100 times?


we have found very basic life on earth that lives in systems deadly to all other known life, life that dies from oxygen and a Varity of life in just about every conceivable environment on the earth. Like i said nothing in humanity as of yet can answer your question, humanity cant even fully predict weather yet, but i guess we should know the answer to life already laugh.gif
Engineer Kimov
Wrong. Humanity do not predict weather because it is economically inefficient to do required number of observations, not because it is impossible for modern science.
Zebbeddee
QUOTE
Same is applied to formation of proteins.

Amino acids are generally stable, Proteins are not and they are thousands of times more complicated so you cannot say the same processes can generate proteins and then evn more complicated processes that even the fastsest computer in the world would take 10 years to calculate how it is done and your body does it hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of times in your life time.
Life Can Only Be The Product Of Life.

QUOTE
10^80 is the number of the atoms in the universe, no one knows the size of the universe

The universe has a finite size and this size has been guessed. Taking an average density and applying this to our guessed size it works out as roughly 10^80. I am not saying this is a definite figure it is just an accepted estimate under our current understanding. Probability does not prove anything but when the likehood of something happening is a million to one you would not expect to get this outcome 10 times in a row, The chances are too high. The more life we find the harder it is to explain how it all got here by Abiogenesis, you need even more amazing coincidences and more information from nothing.
Abiogenesis can only work if some process actually makes life, if some law exists that makes matter produce life. And if on earth there is so much life why have we never been able to replicate, observe or even concieve any way in which life can come about by pure chance.
nileriver
If life can only be a product of itself that leads you in the direction of an original and where did that come from, or did it always exist? Once again to except an answer as of current knowledge would be a fallacy because we donít know. to just say it always existed, in what form, why is it not abundant everywhere, why is life only found on earth after a certain period of time, why did it have to develop from very simple forms. Even with the odds against it does not ever state such a thing may not occur. What is the rough estimate of planets that could bear life in the visible or known universe, since we know that life can come in a verity of forms on just this planet why is it so hard to think that such could simply not occur. Some of the most basic life on earth is very small, around 200 nanos or something along those lines, and lives in a hot spring somewhere in Italy. With all the vast variations of life and the fact all known things to date are derived of the periodic table of elements, why would the abiogenesis theory just go out the window. very primitive life on earth bears no where the simple complexities that can be found in most any cells, it survives via a chemical reaction like all life on earth, new life is the process of chemicals working with each other, the indicators donít go against or for, and the bottom line still being no one as of yet can a give you a positive answer. To say yes or no to any of the current models or theories is wrong on the base that we cant answer them yet, but only work with what we know. Gene mapping is also showing the developmental path of life on earth, such studies are where people who work with such a striving to answer the questions you ask. Life does derive itself, but this gets into evolutionary theory, another subject that cannot be fully defined. A computer is bound by who makes it, it can take a super computer days to do a math calculation just to run it out of memory for a test, but as we see computers get faster in time, so maybe in a year such examples you use may be able to be run in a minute, i am not trying to discredit your computer example, but i think such an example is not so solid as you may think. For i am sure the first computer that was barley a text processor would not even qualify to be used as an example in the first place. Also since life is found in very simple forms in a plethora of earthly environments, i guess life is possible around very hazardous conditions, even if the life itself could not make it in another environment, but still was able to pass there, such as volcanic ducts in the ocean spewing chemical that are very lethal to a majority of the earths life forms.
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otseng
QUOTE(Zebbeddee @ Sep 29 2003, 07:44 AM)
Biogenesis is observed all around us, life makes life, but what evidence is there that life can come about from non-life. It, as yet, has never been observed, yet it is stated as fact under evolutionary thinking.

I think this is a key point here in this debate - abiogenesis has never been observed to occur. Sure, you can hypothesize the probability of abiogenesis occuring, yet nobody has ever created (or observed) life from non-life. So, what support is there for abiogenesis?
nileriver
What do you mean by that, no human has ever watched a lump of iron turn into a bird, or has spent how much time in what kind of areas trying to detect something very small that more or less might not come about because life already has. The various compounds that can lead to life do occur, and are most likely part of a food chain, do you know if they are. Also life at one point did not exist on earth, so how then did it come about, build up to dinosaurs, disappear then magically rebuild back into advanced life again. For saying it never occurs, it simply could be us and the millions of bacteria and simple lifeforms, we donít have all of them catalogued, when we find them, how are we not sure they did not come about in the last decade? We find new species of bacteria and simple life at a constant pace, how can we be sure its not new? once again we are playing that we know when we donít, i have not said it has or has not, but i am dealing with a lot of have nots. Can you be 100% sure in your educated opinion. Since we are capable of genetically mapping the development of lifeís advance, it has giving way to much information, since life develops from itself into something better we shall say, that might mean there was some form of origin of life on this planet. If life is not detected on earth until some point in time, say 250 million years ago, does that mean abiogenesis occurred or a meteorite with life brought it? no one knows as of yet is the point. To say that the process, we shall call evolution may be a pass and fail base that takes a few million years to complete, how would you reproduce that in a lab. If someone makes a simple chemical the reproduces itself by reacting to carbon or hydrogen or maybe even water or light, does that count?


A person i do not like very much named Descartes at some point used his powers to fragment the tools humanity uses to understand itself, he decided to keep psychology from philosophy, and all fields of science segregated from each other. These various tools and the related personal that work them are just now starting to work together, such as physics and chemistry with biology, to just wrap it up, there is much more to learn, and stating what is true fact right now is just speaking on the tips of vary large icebergs.
Ataal
This is probably one of my favorite subjects of science. I also have the privledge of being related to one of the leading scientists in this field. Here are a few links to studies done by David W. Deamer from the University of California, Santa Cruz:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/education/events/deamer1.html

http://astrobiology.arc.nasa.gov/workshops...r_abstract.html

http://www.jmu.edu/biology/b101/b101r/orilife.pdf

The last link has some interesting info about "pseudo-cells" that can absorb nutrients and UV light. It doesn't go into much detail in the .pdf but I wasn't able to find the actual research paper.

I've written to him through e-mail several times and it's funny that all the work he's done in the field, he's most proud of this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/222591.stm

He has helped several people, including Susan Alexander to create music from DNA.

Anyway, as far as the debate is concerned, by reading some of the breakthroughs we've made in just the last decade, it's becoming more and more likely, in my opinion, that life can come from nothing.
quarkhead
Isn't this whole argument a false dichotomy? Religious people who are against the theory of abiogenesis are not truly offering an alternative - after all, "God" would have created life out of nothing - unless he too is biologically alive, in which case he came from some other life in turn.

Biogenesis serves as a way of observing the ongoing process, but does not offer anything when it comes to origins. Couching the argument in scientific terms is rather a sham, because it comes down to the ongoing question of religion - did god create life from nothing, or was it something else?

You say you don't want this to be about creationism, so I challenge you to offer some scientific support for the cause of "biogenesis" as it relates specifically to the origin of life - without bringing creationism into the picture. In fact, biogenesis without a creator would have us believe that life has existed forever and ever. Most reputable scientists don't see this as a very possible idea.
NiteGuy
QUOTE(otseng @ Sep 29 2003, 01:51 PM)
I think this is a key point here in this debate - abiogenesis has never been observed to occur.   Sure, you can hypothesize the probability of abiogenesis occuring, yet nobody has ever created (or observed) life from non-life.  So, what support is there for abiogenesis?

Not entirely correct. While abiogenesis has never been seen to have occured spontaneously, it's precursers have been more or less created in the laboratory.

Articles on this, including it's discoverer, biochemist Sidney Fox, can be found here, and here.

As to how important these findings were, Fox was invited to an audience with the Pope concerning his findings and was the basis for the Pope altering his position on evolution and the Church in recent years. Link here.

QUOTE
Fox said he believed the pope did not want to be proven wrong about science, as was the Catholic Church after it excommunicated Galileo, who had demonstrated that the Earth is not the center of the universe. This past May (1998), three months before Fox died. the pope revealed his revised thinking about evolution. He straddled the fence, according to news reports: Evolution cannot be discounted, but it cannot explain everything about mankind's origins.


Now, has science proven all that needs to be proven concerning life via abiogenesis? Absolutely not. But that may be because our instruments are not finely tuned enough yet, or that other factors have yet to be taken into consideration. But the fact that we have come this far, and have not yet come up with the answer, doesn't mean that we will not find it, eventually.
Julian
The theory of evolution is barely 150 years old. A detailed understanding of the building blocks of life - DNA, proteins, lipids, etc - and the ways in which they interact with one another is, at best, perhaps about the same age (DNA itself has been understood for only about 50 years).

Assuming no creationism is to enter the debate, the Earth has been cool enough for liquid water (generally agreed to be essential to what we understand to be terrestrial life) to form for perhaps 5 or 6 billion years, and from what the fossil record shows, it took another two billion years or so for even the most primitive forms of what we would recognise as "life" to emerge, I think perhaps we can give the scientific community the benefit of the doubt in not having found the mechanism for the creation of life from non-life.

Let's be generous, and give them a couplpe of million years - still thousands of times less than the theoretically random process that proponents of abiogenesis suppose(those who approach the question from science, at least - ultimately, as Quarkhead sagely points out, even the most fundie Christian believes in abiogenesis) - before we start saying things like "Abiogenesis is impossible".

But anyway, I suspect that what you're really so against is the idea of atheogenesis, and not abiogenesis at all.
Chasuk
You throw a box of toothpicks into to the air, and they spill all over the floor. If they had landed in a pattern that I had predicted - in a PRECISE pattern that I had predicted - you would be amazed. Minus the prediction, nothing amazing has occurred at all; we are just witnessing a klutz or an idiot create another mess that needs to be swept up.

Life, the universe, and everything, exists as it does today without any of us alive having been present at its origin. Thus, there was no "predictor" or "pridictee" (observer of the prediction) to now be able to impress us with any tales at all of its origin, amazing or otherwise.

The universe exists the way that it exists now, complete with us in it, because it exists the way that it exists now. It couldn't exist in any other way. If it could have existed in any other way, it WOULD have existed in that other way- only the possible happens. That it exists as it does exist is no more, or less amazing than that box of toothpicks, contents strewn on the floor.

This makes abiogenesis probable and unremarkable. When we have visited scores of planets, I'd be very surprised if life isn't discovered on many of them, which is my guess as to why the Pope has recently thawed on evolution.
Zebbeddee
Sorry for the length of this reply but you have all given me a lot to reply to:

QUOTE
You say you don't want this to be about creationism, so I challenge you to offer some scientific support for the cause of "biogenesis" as it relates specifically to the origin of life - without bringing creationism into the picture. In fact, biogenesis without a creator would have us believe that life has existed forever and ever

I don't assert that life has existed forever, but that it was created by God around six or seven thousand years ago (although this is another topic), the reason I said that this is not a debate of Creation vs Evolution is because it isn't, it is about the origin of life from the beggining and the question was "can life come about from non-life?". Obviously if God created everything and made life on his special earth then it would not matter how this was done. He is God. I don't have to prove scientifically how God did it, the debate is how can it come about without God. Is abiogenesis possible.

QUOTE
of the most basic life on earth is very small, around 200 nanos or something along those lines, and lives in a hot spring somewhere in Italy

Although it may be 'basic life' that does not mean it is not highly complicated, it may be basic in comparison to other life forms.

QUOTE
While abiogenesis has never been seen to have occured spontaneously, it's precursers have been more or less created in the laboratory.

Yep, I said this above. I came accross the experiment that formed amino acids and even strings of them (four of five) but these are unstable and the longer the strings are the more unstable they are. Proteins are chains of as many as 100 amino acids, smaller ones of about 60 and larger ones of over 200 have been observed but most are between 100 and 150.

QUOTE
The theory of evolution is barely 150 years old

Julian, I won't hold this against you but the theory of evolution is documented in babylonian, greek and aztec writings amongst the modern philosophers of there days, so the theory has actually been pondered for nearly 3500 years. But yes you are right that the modern world sees darwin as the founder of the theory of evolution and so it is seen as only being 150 years old. It was criticised by many greek philosophers who pointed out the design of life and how everything all works to form a perfectly harmonious eco system and they didn't have the technology to explore DNA or cells or a lot of the funtions of the body as we do today.

QUOTE
You throw a box of toothpicks into to the air, and they spill all over the floor. If they had landed in a pattern that I had predicted - in a PRECISE pattern that I had predicted - you would be amazed. Minus the prediction, nothing amazing has occurred at all; we are just witnessing a klutz or an idiot create another mess that needs to be swept up.

This makes abiogenesis probable and unremarkable

Imagine 10^80 tooth picks in a massive bundle and then some unexplained force throws out these tooth picks in all directions so that they are spread out homogenously and equally in ever direction from the centre of the original bundle. Lets say you could predict the path for all eternity of every single tooth pick, would your prediction allow that they form a geometric shapes and sine graphs or spell words. No, you would observe them all spread out away from each other and form chaos, no order would be observed as order requires intelligience. If you did observe them all forming shapes or a schematic of a car it would surprise you and you would say it was remarkable. If you designed those tooth picks with some form of ordering ability, that they should join up and form particular shapes and letters or whatever, then you would observe this. But on there own they can produce no order, they first need intelligience greater then themselves to make them form order. This is the way with all things.

QUOTE
Let's be generous, and give them a couple of million years - still thousands of times less than the theoretically random process that proponents of abiogenesis suppose (those who approach the question from science, at least - ultimately, as Quarkhead sagely points out, even the most fundie Christian believes in abiogenesis), before we start saying things like "Abiogenesis is impossible".

But anyway, I suspect that what you're really so against is the idea of atheogenesis, and not abiogenesis at all.

You need two million years to work out how the simplest life can come about, hay isn't that the length of time us humans are supposed to have been here according to the evolutionary time line. Looks like your time is running out and you still can't give an answer to how random processes with no intelligience can give rise to life, doesn't that tell you something. And whatever some people who would call them selves christian may say abiogenesis is not an option "God created the world in six days" not millions of years by slow random processes so that eventually life would come about, he didn't need to.

QUOTE
Isn't this whole argument a false dichotomy? Religious people who are against the theory of abiogenesis are not truly offering an alternative - after all, "God" would have created life out of nothing - unless he too is biologically alive, in which case he came from some other life in turn.

Actually, doesn't the view of abiogenesis halt alternatives as well saying that life can come from nothing needing no intelligience of which our earth clearly shows a lot of. God is not biological but he relates to it in that he created it and gave man a soul so that his highest creation can relate to him. And he has always been, he was there at the beginning and will be forever and always.
What can create the infinite?

QUOTE
Biogenesis serves as a way of observing the ongoing process, but does not offer anything when it comes to origins. Couching the argument in scientific terms is rather a sham, because it comes down to the ongoing question of religion - did god create life from nothing, or was it something else?

Did God create life from nothing? to this I have to answer both yes and no, yes he created it from nothing as he created all things but no he created it from himself and commanded life to arrise and it did so. Surely that is a good enough Origin and it is much more easily observed that life is in a downwards cycle, creatures becoming more and more specialised with less and less genetic information over the expanse of a few thousand years than major coincidences happening one after the other to form life. Biogenesis does not couch science at all, in fact it better explains the fossil record and downward evolution and the purpose of everything on the planet than saying everything came from nothing through random fluke processes and now were here wasting our time because in the end were all just going to be iron molecules drifting through space.
Jaime
MODERATION NOTE:
If this turns into a 'who created God discussion' I will close this thread. We are no longer hosting generic religious debates.
nileriver
Yes, but evolution does not state that man just came into existence one day, but over a period of time, or evolution from a lower life form such as another mammal, and if you look that many variations of such came and passed. Not that humans just shot into existence in the blink of an eye. Even with probability stacked against it, does that mean it cant happen. People get struck by lighting and win lottoís, a ladies car has even been hit by a meteorite, also remember time within probability spread over who knows how many planets or environments before you say its impossible. I donít now how many humans that can truly grasp the passing of a million years.

Also not to rag on creation theory being i went through that debate already, how much of it is just a Christian idea posed of lifeís origins versus other religious that may differ, then you are stuck to debate faith, which in itself is a pointless black hole of time. I am not saying Theogenesis is not possible, i just donít see it as something any form of theology or religion of today could grasp if such was the case, for most anything that has been collected in the field, such as developmental paths and the age of dinosaurs does not coincide with any known religious doctrines on lifeís coming to be. More to the point, if life on earth is the product of a higher being or beings, I think that humans have not found the truth there either, so its still a who knows. Plus there is always the question of those beings or being also a product of life or alive, which once again does not answer anything.

Again in this short break i would like to say that a yes or no to the question posed at this time would be a fallacy because the answer is not known or visible yet.

Yes and simple life forms the lower you go truly do get much more simple, such as a form of life that is nothing more then surviving from one single chemical reaction it gets from its environment, and does not even bare the complexity of a plant cell on a sample of moss. BTW, the farther life goes up, the better the biology, chemistry and physics work, or the more efficient the life form becomes. Such as simple plants, non vascular plants have to use diffusion or osmosis to pass nutrients through the walls of its cells, or plant cells, thus the small size versus vascular plants like a common weed. These plants gain nutrients via a chemical process pioneered by simple blue green algae.

Once again in all of these philosophies and such, and the tools that are employed by the people, it is difficult to escape the humanity of them, be it an American atheist chemist or a Italian catholic anthropologist, that is the main cog that makes such a debate heated to my knowing. I stand by my opinion that people cannot fully define a yes or no to the question posed as of yet.
NiteGuy
QUOTE(Zebbeddee @ Sep 30 2003, 07:49 AM)
QUOTE
You say you don't want this to be about creationism, so I challenge you to offer some scientific support for the cause of "biogenesis" as it relates specifically to the origin of life - without bringing creationism into the picture. In fact, biogenesis without a creator would have us believe that life has existed forever and ever

I don't assert that life has existed forever, but that it was created by God around six or seven thousand years ago (although this is another topic), the reason I said that this is not a debate of Creation vs Evolution is because it isn't, it is about the origin of life from the beggining and the question was "can life come about from non-life?". Obviously if God created everything and made life on his special earth then it would not matter how this was done. He is God. I don't have to prove scientifically how God did it, the debate is how can it come about without God. Is abiogenesis possible.

Geez, Zebbeddee, I thought this wasn't supposed to be a creationism -vs- evolution thing, and then you turn it into one with your last post.

If you really didn't want to discuss this logically, why bother with the smoke and mirror routine? I believe some of us here have covered the scientific ground well enough to show that while we might not be there quite yet, there is plenty of evidence to show that however improbable , it is indeed possible for abiogenesis to be a reality. I'm sorry that the facts don't fit your belief system, but that does not make them any less valid.

Quoted form one of my earlier links:
QUOTE
Sidney Fox and coworkers showed that a mixture of amino acids, which we already showed could be formed under natural conditions, that mixture of amino acids, if heated in dry conditions (like out on a rock), would link together to form polypeptides. If these were placed back in water, they formed small clumps called proteinoids. These formed shells around themselves consisting of proteins and fats, which are the same materials that make up the membrane of cells. As more material entered these structures, they grew in size until they eventually broke apart into smaller spheres which then continued to grow.

So these drops were, in a sense, reproducing.  Also, the molecules inside the drops that had a linear structure, could act to orient molecules to form a similar molecule along its length, acting as a model or template. Over millions of years, these aggregates of reproducing molecules in reproducing drops would reach the point of development that they could be considered cells.


And all of this work has really only been done in the last 30 or 40 years, where we have had the tools to see these reactions on a microscopic basis, and be able to replicate the processes on a consistant basis.

All of the rest of your arguments are straw men, with which you can knock down to promote your creationism belief. I'll dispense with responding to these, since you say you didn't want this turned into that kind of argument.

All I can say is, I doubt seriously that it will take another 30 or 40 years to be able to replicate these early forms of life in a laboratory. Someone will finally hit on the correct sequence of events, in the proper time frame. Then we will know for sure.
Amlord
If the theory of abiogenesis is true, then we can reasonably expect life to exist on every Earth-like planet or moon.

I can make this assertion because the theory of abiogenesis would be universally appropriate. Given the proper mixture of Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Hydrogen and enough time, amino acids will form. From those amino acids, proteins will form. From those proteins, life.

We should be discovering life on distant planets at a rapid pace in the near future...
nileriver
Yes, this is true. Bacterial fossils were found on a asteroid from mars, but it was not used on the base that not enough was known for the scientist at nasa to give a yes or a no on it. Plus we think that europa if i am correct, one of Jupiterís moons has a high concentration of h20, so some suspect life may be present. Still We cant fully define all the variables required to know what environment would need to be present for life, we do know that life has appeared in multiple environment on earth though.

To wrap it up, there is those people that claim to have witnessed a ufo, including me, but my moment of such was not very fun crying.gif it was just a little dot that speed up into a white line while doing sharp turns, then gone.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Zebbeddee @ Sep 30 2003, 05:49 AM)
Imagine 10^80 tooth picks in a massive bundle and then some unexplained force throws out these tooth picks in all directions so that they are spread out homogenously and equally in ever direction from the centre of the original bundle. Lets say you could predict the path for all eternity of every single tooth pick, would your prediction allow that they form a geometric shapes and sine graphs or spell words. No, you would observe them all spread out away from each other and form chaos, no order would be observed as order requires intelligience. If you did observe them all forming shapes or a schematic of a car it would surprise you and you would say it was remarkable. If you designed those tooth picks with some form of ordering ability, that they should join up and form particular shapes and letters or whatever, then you would observe this. But on there own they can produce no order, they first need intelligience greater then themselves to make them form order. This is the way with all things.

This paragraph displays your misunderstanding of chaos theory. In simplest terms

You are also simplifying abiogenesis theory in order to make it seem preposterous. I suggest you read this.

Abiogenesis does not preclude the existence of God. Biogenesis is not even a scientific theory when it comes to origins.

And with this:
QUOTE
I don't assert that life has existed forever, but that it was created by God around six or seven thousand years ago


I believe I will retire from this debate. My head is sore and I haven't even beaten it against the wall yet. smile.gif

edited to add: well, until my next post, anyways!!! laugh.gif
Gray Seal
An experiment to create life has not yet been done. This does not mean it is disproven.

The complex series of chemical reactions we call "life" is a stable system. It is not a far reach to hypothesis that once such a stable system was started it would be self sustaining.

The experiments to show that complex organic molecules can form without previous life intervention do prove that low probability events do in fact occur. It is logical to see that such a complex system as life could form given the right circumstances and given sufficient time for improbable events to occur. Once the improbable event took place, it would be self sustaining.

Given enough time, any improbable event becomes likely.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Sep 30 2003, 11:16 AM)
An experiment to create life has not yet been done.  This does not mean it is disproven.

The complex series of chemical reactions we call "life" is a stable system.  It is not a far reach to hypothesis that once such a stable system was started it would be self sustaining.

The experiments to show that complex organic molecules can form without previous life intervention do prove that low probability events do in fact occur.  It is logical to see that such a complex system as life could form given the right circumstances and given sufficient time for improbable events to occur.  Once the improbable event took place, it would be self sustaining.

Given enough time, any improbable event becomes likely.

This is from the abiogenesis theory link I just posted, and it illustrates Gray Seal's post quite well:
QUOTE
Here is a experiment you can do yourself: take a coin, flip it four times, write down the results, and then do it again. How many times would you think you had to repeat this procedure (trial) before you get 4 heads in a row?

Now the probability of 4 heads in a row is is (1/2)4 or 1 chance in 16: do we have to do 16 trials to get 4 heads (HHHH)? No, in successive experiments I got 11, 10, 6, 16, 1, 5, and 3 trials before HHHH turned up. The figure 1 in 16 (or 1 in a million or 1 in 1040) gives the likelihood of an event in a given trial, but doesn't say where it will occur in a series. You can flip HHHH on your very first trial (I did). Even at 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040, a self-replicator could have turned up surprisingly early. But there is more.

1 chance in 4.29 x 1040 is still orgulously, gobsmackingly unlikely; it's hard to cope with this number. Even with the argument above (you could get it on your very first trial) most people would say "surely it would still take more time than the Earth existed to make this replicator by random methods". Not really; in the above examples we were examining sequential trials, as if there was only one protein/DNA/proto-replicator being assembled per trial. In fact there would be billions of simultaneous trials as the billions of building block molecules interacted in the oceans, or on the thousands of kilometers of shorelines that could provide catalytic surfaces or templates [2,15].

Let's go back to our example with the coins. Say it takes a minute to toss the coins 4 times; to generate HHHH would take on average 8 minutes. Now get 16 friends, each with a coin, to all flip the coin simultaneously 4 times; the average time to generate HHHH is now 1 minute. Now try to flip 6 heads in a row; this has a probability of (1/2)6 or 1 in 64. This would take half an hour on average, but go out and recruit 64 people, and you can flip it in a minute. If you want to flip a sequence with a chance of 1 in a billion, just recruit the population of China to flip coins for you, you will have that sequence in no time flat.
otseng
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Sep 30 2003, 01:16 PM)
An experiment to create life has not yet been done.  This does not mean it is disproven.

Nor does it mean that it has been proven. I have yet to see any basis that abiogenesis can occur. We can only take the current facts as we know it to support our conclusions. The argument that someday we will prove it can happen is not sufficient proof.

I will grant you that scientists are finding the building blocks for it. But having a box full of silicon is different from having a working computer. When the day comes that scientists are able to build from raw elements a life form then the case for abiogenesis has been proven. But we're not there. Furthermore, abiogeneis has never been observed in nature. When that day comes, then abiogeneis is also proven. We're not there either. So, what scientific basis is there to believe in abiogeneis?
nileriver
Your question is a loop, as in what proof is there not to form a theory of such, also i went over the never observed in nature part of abiogenesis in an earlier post, i think that something of that nature would be nearly impossible to view with current tools, being the basic building blocks are a food chain, it may take millions of years even with life living already, and new basic forms of life we come in contact with could be that proof, even without us knowing or being able to prove such. Plus studies that have already taken place show it to be a possible answer to life on earths origin, along with people seem to expect science would know all the variables to complete such a task, remember, science advances, it just does not dream up how to build a computer. It just like humanities advancement thus is its reason for existence, as a tool for organized thought most likely stemming from the use of logic.
quarkhead
QUOTE(otseng @ Sep 30 2003, 02:08 PM)
I will grant you that scientists are finding the building blocks for it.  But having a box full of silicon is different from having a working computer.  When the day comes that scientists are able to build from raw elements a life form then the case for abiogenesis has been proven.  But we're not there.  Furthermore, abiogeneis has never been observed in nature.  When that day comes, then abiogeneis is also proven.  We're not there either.  So, what scientific basis is there to believe in abiogeneis?

(emphasis mine)

Otseng, you and others refuting the theory of abiogenesis seem to be be avoiding my earlier questions: what are the alternatives? If a supreme being created life from nothing, how is that not, strictly speaking, abiogenesis? Does "biogenesis" have any explanation for the origin of life which can stand up to scientific or even casual rational observation, or has life existed for all of infinity?

I maintain that this topic is really about religion. You cannot offer a serious scientific debate here, because there is no scientific theory of "biogenesis." This is an attempt to say "abiogenesis cannot be proven, therefore my belief in God as the creator must be correct." This topic is no different than the sham idea of having a creation/evolution debate "based entirely on science" without bringing the Bible into it. Though this debate may continue in the lexicon of scientific phrases and long words, it is a charade; a charade used by creationists fairly commonly.

I don't mean to sound harsh or insulting; I respect peoples' beliefs and wish no ill will upon anyone.
pheeler
I think we can agree as rational human beings that there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove either creation or abiogenesis as yet and, as otseng pointed out, talking about what we might find out in the future doesn't offer any evidence of the present. As someone else offers evidence that science is working toward proving that abiogenesis is real, I can just say, "Well Jesus is coming back soon, too" and we get nowhere.

I do agree that technically speaking, the divine creation of the world is an example of abiogenesis (life from nothing), but the scientific theory of abiogenesis can occur without divine intervention, which is what religion teaches as false.

Biogenesis makes no sense at all. There had to be a beginning without life, or life has always existed (So if God is eternal life then God always existed).

QUOTE
I maintain that this topic is really about religion. You cannot offer a serious scientific debate here, because there is no scientific theory of "biogenesis."


I thought that was why the Religion forum was closed.
GenX_Futurist
Perspective.

I lean towards the idea that this is not even a viable question because, (as I dance upon the thin ice separating politics, & religion) SOME models of the universe have consciousness as the centerpiece, where even an atom, though not the most elaborated form of "intelligence" as we know it is considered to have an awareness factor within it.

Within that nearly off limits area of discussion, lies the "certainty" that you cannot find anything in this universe that is not a direct expression of life however "alien" to our currently limited definition of it.

Definitions are key and perspective is critical to definition. Do you need lipids to have life? or merely life as we have had it defined in scientific americans most recently applicable issue?

IF we restrict the definition of life to the classic chemical definitions and exclude the idea that all "inanimate" matter is in effect "alive", then I would decline to begin to speculate whether "abiogenesis" can or cannot be accomplished, as the idea that to get life from "nothing" is nearly as rational as speculating upon getting anything else from "nothing".... define nothing.
blink.gif wacko.gif
Zebbeddee
Hello again, Not a lot has been added to this debate since my last post except to say how pointless it is and that it is a charade.
I do not believe abiogenesis is impossible, just that it is not probable and the complexity of life and the design we see in nature could not have come about by random chance even over a massively long time span.

So "Can life come about from non-life?" - in answer I would say yes it could, and I also see no reason why it shouldn't. But I do not believe it did. I don't see how chaotic situations can produce something showing such design and incredible complexity.

QUOTE
Biogenesis makes no sense at all. There had to be a beginning without life, or life has always existed (So if God is eternal life then God always existed).

Just because you run your clock back only four billion years on the evolutionary timeline to where life supposedly begun you say biogenesis is silly. Run your clock back 15 billion years to when the universe is supposed to have begun (at least this cycle of it) and what is there. "Nothing" . Then all of a sudden a big bang, from nothing and energy and matter and then 15 billion years later I am sitting here typing. Either there is nothing or there is something, and I would much rather believe there is something than nothing. Even the theory of multiple big bangs had to start somewhere, the infinite and it has degenerated from there, so why is it so hard for you to accept that the infinite is God who has always existed and created all things as they are for his own purpose and did not need billions of years.

QUOTE
I maintain that this topic is really about religion. You cannot offer a serious scientific debate here, because there is no scientific theory of "biogenesis." This is an attempt to say "abiogenesis cannot be proven, therefore my belief in God as the creator must be correct."

I do not believe I can prove God created everything but the theory of biogenesis preceded abiogenesis and was an accepted theory when darwin was around, abiogenesis as a 'scientific' theory is relatively new but has been proposed by multiple cultures for the past few thousand years (I have noted this is a previous post). What was there in the very beginning, go back as far as you can possibly think and in your mind what existed. Something had to make everything we see or we are not really here and that sort of thinking turns the world upside down. I would say my view is correct but then so would you. You must believe what you believe, or you are just plain stupid.

Biogenesis and Abiogenesis are mutually exclusive but they can be merged to say that life can come about by the right conditions and then life continues from life once complete. No one can dispute that life comes from life and I can't dispute that it could, possibly, come about by chance.

QUOTE
We should be discovering life on distant planets at a rapid pace in the near future...

'Aliens' - this I think would prove abiogenesis was possible, if you could prove or find life somewhere else in the universe. But I think your wasting your time looking. In all honesty I would drop every one of my beliefs if you could find life somewhere other than earth but as yet there has not been any evidence I think can't be explained by something else. Strange things happen, but what actually happened.

GenX_Futurist - if you want to talk about the nature of nothing, time, the infinite and what's in between I enjoy this subject as it is still greatly misunderstood on even a conceptual basis. I have emailed you so as not to detract this debate.

Science used to mean something, now it is objectional and pre-planned. It is almost impossible to get results of experiments now (meaning the measurements and how it was carried out) but you will find hundreds of people saying oh this proves our presupposed theory. Science used to be rigorous, if something conflicts your theory throw the theory out and so science has become a mass of views on the same data without any reconciliation.

I have gone through and read all the links and they are educational on such subjects but I cannot accept such generalisations based on pre-supposed undenialble theories. I can also say that both sides of the creation vs evolution debate are probably equally guilty of this, but I am reasonably well read and have not found any conflicting evidence to disprove my beliefs.

I think it is far better to believe in something than in nothing.
phaedrus
I think there is a fundamental question of how simple chemicals become living things with the DNA nessacary for metabolism and reproduction. I stumbled onto what seemed to be an interesting and comprehensive discussion of the subject. The article is short but the links at the bottom of the page. I thought I might post a couple of exerpts and test the water before I weigh in on this one.

QUOTE
Biogenesis

"Vital Dust: life as a cosmic imperative" by Christian de Duve (1974 Nobel prize for biology) published 1995 by BasicBooks. Quoted below:

"We need a pathway, a succession of chemical steps leading from the first building blocks of life to the RNA world. Chemistry, however, has so far failed to elucidate this pathway. At first sight, the kind of chemistry needed seems so unlikely to take place spontaneously that one might be tempted to invoke, as many have done and some still do, the intervention of some supernatural agency. Scientists, however, are condemned by their calling to look for natural explanations of even the most unnatural-looking events. They must even, in the present case, eschew the facile recourse to chance, as I hope to have made clear" [p24 - my italics Vital Dust : Life As a Cosmic Imperative by Christian De Duve. 1995]

Abiogenesis
In 1953, a University of Chicago graduate student named Stanley Miller working in Harold Urey's lab flipped a switch sending electric discharges through a chamber containing a combination of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water. The experiment yielded organic compounds including some amino acids, the building blocks of life, and catapulted a field of study known as exobiology into the headlines. Since that time a new understanding of the workings of RNA and DNA, have increased the scope of the subject. Moreover, the discovery of prebiotic conditions on other planets and the announcement of a bacterial fossil originating on Mars has brought new attention to the study of life's origins. Exobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe.

Abiogenesis and The Stanley Miller experiment
quarkhead
QUOTE(Zebbeddee @ Oct 1 2003, 05:15 AM)
Hello again, Not a lot has been added to this debate since my last post except to say how pointless it is and that it is a charade.
I do not believe abiogenesis is impossible, just that it is not probable and the complexity of life and the design we see in nature could not have come about by random chance even over a massively long time span.

So "Can life come about from non-life?" - in answer I would say yes it could, and I also see no reason why it shouldn't. But I do not believe it did. I don't see how chaotic situations can produce something showing such design and incredible complexity.

Please check again my link concerning chaos and ordered systems. It is really written very simply. The fact is that chaotic situations can produced ordered structure. It happens all the time in the universe.

QUOTE
Either there is nothing or there is something, and I would much rather believe there is something than nothing.


And that, my friend, is the true heart of your entire post. And that's fine. Will you admit, then, that your conclusion about origins stems ultimately from this matter of faith, rather than empirical observation and/or scientific study?

QUOTE
What was there in the very beginning, go back as far as you can possibly think and in your mind what existed. Something had to make everything we see or we are not really here and that sort of thinking turns the world upside down.


Rather, I might say that consciousness imposes narrative. When we observe the quanta, and the "common sense" notion of narrative and cause and effect breaks down under scrutiny, it's pretty far outside our perceptive paradigm. Just because your brain can only conceive of a narrative chain leading logically to something which could most aptly be called divine origin, doesn't mean that your perception reflects reality. Your perception may reflect your Truth, but not that physical world which we share observation of.

QUOTE
Science used to mean something, now it is objectional and pre-planned. It is almost impossible to get results of experiments now (meaning the measurements and how it was carried out) but you will find hundreds of people saying oh this proves our presupposed theory. Science used to be rigorous, if something conflicts your theory throw the theory out and so science has become a mass of views on the same data without any reconciliation.


Where does this notion come from? What could possibly lead you to believe this? There is science going on today that boggles the mind! Rigorous science, hard science, experiments with results, strange, exciting, and surprising results. I don't know where you get this idea about science, but I can assure you it is not true.

Phaedrus:
QUOTE
I think there is a fundamental question of how simple chemicals become living things with the DNA nessacary for metabolism and reproduction.


You are correct, that is a fundamental question, of course. Be sure though, that in spite of some creationist thinking (saying that the leap from simple chemicals to bacteria is such a preposterous leap), real studies of abiogenesis entail a chain - from simple chemicals, to polymers, to replicating polymers, to hypercycle, to protobiont, to bacteria. Steps are incremental.

Zebbeddee, I'm still waiting to hear your scientific support of biogenesis. Anyone? And by scientific, I don't mean "I would rather believe it." Heck, I would rather believe I have a billion dollars, but I don't and I have to face that truth.
otseng
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Sep 30 2003, 04:35 PM)
Otseng, you and others refuting the theory of abiogenesis seem to be be avoiding my earlier questions: what are the alternatives? If a supreme being created life from nothing, how is that not, strictly speaking, abiogenesis? Does "biogenesis" have any explanation for the origin of life which can stand up to scientific or even casual rational observation, or has life existed for all of infinity?

I maintain that this topic is really about religion. You cannot offer a serious scientific debate here, because there is no scientific theory of "biogenesis."


This is an attempt to say "abiogenesis cannot be proven, therefore my belief in God as the creator must be correct." This topic is no different than the sham idea of having a creation/evolution debate "based entirely on science" without bringing the Bible into it. Though this debate may continue in the lexicon of scientific phrases and long words, it is a charade; a charade used by creationists fairly commonly.

I don't know about others, but I have never even brought up the notion of God. And for the sake of this debate, I wouldn't mind if we left out all references to some sort of diety.

I've been avoiding talking about alternatives cause the debate is simply about biogenesis vs abiogenesis. I'm just sticking to the debate without trying to wander off-topic. However, I wouldn't mind debating another thread on "if there is no such thing as abiogenesis, then how did everything originate?"

And as for avoiding questions, nobody yet has even addressed the main topic of this debate - "what evidence is there that life can come about from non-life?"

QUOTE(pheeler)
I think we can agree as rational human beings that there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove abiogenesis


I would agree with this statement. So, would this then be the conclusion of this debate?
phaedrus
I really dont think that the role of God at the beginning makes a lot of difference. There are basic things that have to be functional before chemicals become the 20 amino acids of life (there are many chemical amino acids but only 20 in living organisms) and the nucleic acid sugars ribose and deoxyribose. Basically the chemistry has to make a transition that will create (for lack of a better word) RNA or something like it. RNA is the key to life replicating itself. I hate to be redundant on this one but it bears repeating, self-replication is the key. Some how Amino acids form into chains forming polypeptides, this polypeptide chains are the building blocks of proteins. These proteins are folded into three dimensional structure called conformation. This as far as I know is the fundamental process that makes up the mechanisms that build into the most basic form of life, the cell. Now mind you the cell at this point has yet to be built but the basic tools and materials have been formed.

At this point Im not really interested in debating the point of origin. I would like to come to some kind of fundamental point A where you have chemicals to a point B where the synthesis of protiens is possible. If we can determine what the basic elements from chemicals to Proteins are then we can talk about how this came about...maybe. But then and only then.
pheeler
QUOTE
Some how Amino acids form into chains forming polypeptides, this polypeptide chains are the building blocks of proteins.


It's a condensation reaction through which the amino nitrogen of one amino acid attacks the carboxyl carbon of another eliminating water and forming a peptide bond. It is a thermodynamically favored process, but the activation energy is such that the reaction takes place very slowly without a catalyst. It takes other proteins, enzymes, to catalyze these reactions in vivo.

The process of building polypeptides (let alone polypeptides which are conformationally functional for the chirality of biological molecules) would be extremely slow, which is why proponents of abiogenesis must reach back into near infinity to justify their argument. To me, it's possible, but wholly improbable. It seems more likely that there was some force behind it moving it in the right direction. But that's simply a judgment call on my part, and as quark states, I can't back it up scientifically.
quarkhead
QUOTE(otseng @ Oct 1 2003, 04:49 PM)
I don't know about others, but I have never even brought up the notion of God.  And for the sake of this debate, I wouldn't mind if we left out all references to some sort of diety. 

I've been avoiding talking about alternatives cause the debate is simply about biogenesis vs abiogenesis.  I'm just sticking to the debate without trying to wander off-topic.  However, I wouldn't mind debating another thread on "if there is no such thing as abiogenesis, then how did everything originate?"

And as for avoiding questions, nobody yet has even addressed the main topic of this debate - "what evidence is there that life can come about from non-life?"

We can leave out all references to a diety. Absolutely. But to do so would leave the "biogenesis" side without any fundamental support. Here's why: without reference to a "creator," what theory is there of "biogenesis?" Without a creator, how did life originate? Where did life come from? Your saying, "let's keep God out of it," but how? Your side keeps trying to knock holes in abiogenetic theory, and yet what is your alternative?

An alternative is not off-topic at all. In fact, not one person has responded to my challenge - show some scientific support for the idea of biogenesis as it relates to the origins of life. You can't, because there is none.

By trying to keep "god" or "faith" out of the debate, you (and I mean "you" generally) are instead turning it into a one-sided "let's poke holes in abiogenesis" debate. Because your side has everything to do with god, and nothing to do with science.

phaedrus:
QUOTE
At this point Im not really interested in debating the point of origin. I would like to come to some kind of fundamental point A where you have chemicals to a point B where the synthesis of protiens is possible. If we can determine what the basic elements from chemicals to Proteins are then we can talk about how this came about...maybe. But then and only then.


Perhaps you missed my link about abiogenesis. Here's one about the mistaken use of probability equations when attacking abiogenesis.
Re: Abiogenesis
an interesting response to an attack on abiogenesis
From which I quote:
QUOTE
You seem to be under the impression that if every subdomain of a research program hasn't been sorted out in all but minor detail it must be "speculation". It doesn't work like that. As an example, when first proposed as a hypothesis in 1986, the RNA world could have been described as "speculation"; now, after significant experimental effort, more refined theoretical considerations and observation work, the RNA world is an established, well-accepted theory with a wide body of supporting evidence, some of which points to the organization of the genetic code, some of which points back into the pre-RNA world. However, the RNA world is not a completed research program (or even a mature research program), far more experimental work is needed, and there are many areas where more detail is needed.


and
QUOTE
Consider the polypetide agmatine, first found by a mate of mine in cow brain, it's been painfully characterized, located in nerve terminals, determined that it is released from nerve terminals, its biosynthesis worked out .. and we still have not the foggiest idea what it actually does. If I took you back to the early days of agmatine research, where we had only a few clues about its biology, but a well defined research program, what would you say about agmatine research?

Now we have a far more integrated view (it has all the hallmarks of a co-transmitter, nerve specific synthesis, granule storage and de-polarization induced release, but doesn't seem to do anything), but are frustrated by a complete lack of clues as to its actual role in the nervous system. What do you make of our "frustration"? That agmatine doesn't exist? That we will never work out what it does?

Abiogenesis is a broadly supported and integrated research program. By no means are all the details filled in, and many unresolved questions remain. In the various sub-domains, alternate hypotheses and theories are undergoing tests (and it looks like heterotrophic theory is winning out over autotrophic theory). This is one aspect that might be confusing Mark, as he seems to find reports of experimental tests of particular theories or hypotheses in a given subdomain as evidence that the research program is not widely supported.


More for your edification
turnea
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Oct 2 2003, 10:20 AM)
Because your side has everything to do with god, and nothing to do with science.

I suppose I would like to interject that it can be argued that neither side has anything to do with science fundamentally. If we are to consider time as linear, with a beginning, then we all must all concede to existence of the supernatural (God or otherwise). That is because the first, whatever, had to be an effect without cause.

I think what otseng is getting at is that the abiogenesis theory has no more scientific basis than the biogenesis theory. Suppose our effect without cause (the first "thing") was biological in nature. There you have biogenesis. Suppose it is non-living, abiogenesis. It all depends on what one started with. This science has thus far been unable to pinpoint for the simple reason that it has no tools to consider effects without causes, what is there to experiment on, what conclusions can be reached? (such-and-such happened for no reason, patently irrational tongue.gif )

Now to constrict that the biogenesis side to only Christianity as its source is a bit disingenuous. First, there are a number of religions which believe in creation by gods. Secondly, even without religion the theory of a big-living bang is just as reasonable as the traditional big-bang theory.

So what we have here, is a clear case of insufficient evidence to reach any safe conclusion if we are to use science. At least, so far...
phaedrus
Im with you up to the point where the preRNA world is facilitating the catalyst for the building the polypeptide bonds. Im a little sketchy on the enviroment in which the process needs in order to create this system of replication. The simple organic molecules which intersected to form cells would have to be formed in a different atmosphere than it does today. It would be hydrogen-rich (reducing) atmosphere was necessary for organic molecules to form. Pardon me if I'm being simplistic but my strong suite is not organic chemistry but scientific history is something I can get a handle on. When Miller did his famous experiment that is seen as the breakthrough fo evolutionary theory the atmosphere would have included methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen. (This is assuming the environment was like the athmosphere was like that of other planets we know about.) There would have been very little oxygen. There would however have been a lot of carbon dioxide. Miller managed to produce a few amino acids. In this prebiotic soup phospates create nucleotides and ATP. Ok fine so far except I thought there was fundamental system that had to be compete for replication to occure. Now bear in mind this assumes a closed system. Heres my problem.

This is hard to reconcile to the fact the metabolism is the balance between catabolism and anabolism. In order for the system of replication to occur there has to be an established order that sythesises complicated processes and somehow duplicates itself. Assuming the RNA molecules could synthesis themselves (which is a big if) where did the RNA aquire the 20 amino acids to form macromolecules that are needed to build cells. More to the point, how did 19 nucleic acid sugars ribose and deoxyribose necessary for chirality form in asymmetrical composition? When chiral molecules are synthesiszed in labs they produce only come up with one configuration or the other. For life to occur the have to be asymmetrical (mirror images of one another). Unstable RNA swimming around and mutating into differnent strains is like a construction worker showing up to work at the site. What would they have to work with?

Again you might have to spoon feed me some of this but there are some major missing pieces to this puzzle. I am willing to accept the premise of a completly closed system (ignoring the genesis due to God or meteorites) for this exercise so I wont bother with those explanations for now. Still the asymmetrical composition is essential whether God created it or it developed as a natural process.
nileriver
Symmetry pops up all around in the natural world in the form of things that are not living such as a diamond. The earthís atmosphere has gone through changes as it still is. Many things could contribute, simple as lightning hitting the water. And as gone over before, we are talking about a long period of time to work with, along with all the required stuff life is made out of, atoms in formations or elements that most everything is made off. I am not trying to prove it, but i am also trying to prove its something that could have been or is not impossible. Connections are easy to make within the existing framework of thought in somebodyís mind, we also have to deal with other, or just to be abrupt without much to do on it, the human element to it all. So we must be aware of such when discussing something like this, for the simple answer is we donít know yet, or can give some definite yes or no. I feel a lot of times people expect science to be able to give answers to all of lifeís questions just like that, or that the people who consider themselves scientists are perceived as something more then human by the rest of the populous. Science by itself is nothing more then a framework for thought, it is not physics or math or any fields of science, but is a framework adopted by such fields and individuals for use in understanding. I could only estimate what science knew a decade ago in relation to now, and what it will know in another decade, that is how it works basically.
pheeler
QUOTE
When chiral molecules are synthesiszed in labs they produce only come up with one configuration or the other


Actually, unless the reaction is catalyzed by a biological enzyme ("bug chemistry') you usually get a 50/50 mixture of both enantiomers, which has to be separated by other means, which supports my point that chirality makes random abiogenesis harder to believe.
otseng
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Oct 2 2003, 10:20 AM)
We can leave out all references to a diety. Absolutely. But to do so would leave the "biogenesis" side without any fundamental support. Here's why: without reference to a "creator," what theory is there of "biogenesis?" Without a creator, how did life originate? Where did life come from?
When we take the facts as we know them today, life comes from life. This is undisputed. As a matter of fact, it's not just a theory, it's a law. We have witnessed no exceptions to the law of biogenesis. To this day, mankind has not created a living life form from the basic elements nor observed life coming from non-life. The law of biogenesis is based entirely on what we observe and our current knowledge. It is not based in any way on whether a god exists or not. The existence of a diety is not a presupposition of the law of biogenesis, but rather a conclusion that can be reached from biogenesis. So, it cannot be argued that a diety is a fundamental support for biogenesis.

Now, we can talk about some of the conclusions that can be reached from biogenesis. Namely, there must be some first cause. But, there is no way we can prove what the first cause is since it's not observable. We can hypothesize based on some deductions, but we can't prove anything on origins.

For me, the only thing that makes sense is a diety outside of space and time and not limited by the laws of this universe must have been the first cause. And perhaps others can give other possibilities on first cause.
nileriver
Yes, but cant your argument against abiogenesis be the same for Theogenesis, i mean, we cant demonstrate a deity in the lab or have observed it in nature, i mean what i am getting at here is just that, its accepting an answer to a question that has not been answered yet. Even if abiogenesis is the case it still does not rule out a deity, i guess i just donít understand the human element fully yet, but i find it funny sometimes in the dynamics of conclusions, really on this case cause the only fact on the answer is no one knows. That darn human element again mrsparkle.gif
quarkhead
Otseng, I understand what you are saying about biogenesis, and I agree completely. But we are not talking about the ongoing continuance of life, we are attempting to discuss origins, unless I am mistaken. What I was saying, and still maintain, is that there is no biogenetic theory to explain how life began. Whether a god created life, or whether life arose randomly, that origin is abiogenetic.

So I return to my earlier position: we can sit here and poke holes in abhiogenetic research, which is one thing. But still, no one has offered any evidence to support a biogenetic origin of life.

And this is where I still maintain that this topic is a bit of a charade. The original topic was set up supposedly as a debate, between biogenesis and abiogenesis regarding the origin of life. So far that debate has not taken place. The only thing happening is criticisms of abiogenesis. I have consistently asked for some shred of support for the other side of the debate, but so far there has been none at all.

It seems as though I have been stuck defending abiogenetic research; that is not my intent. I don't know very much about the subject. But I do know enough to see that this debate has a false structure. Until someone comes up with some positive scientific support of biogenetic orgins, this isn't even a debate, because so far only the side of abiogenesis has been presented. Remember, we are talking about origins in this debate, not current reproduction.
nileriver
biogenesis is not very hard to study, i mean its an ongoing daily process of living things right, but like quarkhead stated, this is a debate between the two, which i find funny just like quarkhead, because they both lead back to a start i would think, or i guess that is the way people look at it. I donít see how you really can compare the two theories. Being they are so different but seem to be part of a same type, or both are an abstraction made by us that are the same. Human language for the most part leads to confusion in some areas i guess, with lots of words for the same thing that have different definitions, or take on different parts of a same thing. The main point being you can only think with what you know, and you can only think like a human i guess, a small change in how to approach or a new finding or a new tool could change all of this debate, but at this point the all pointers go to nothing more then a question mark that remains of it all.

Just as easily you can accept an answer as of now, it does not make it the answer, and even then its subject to change, just like the weather laugh.gif
phaedrus
Perhaps Im mistaken but I thought the subject under debate was not if but how life was originated. I admitt that God is a simplistic answer even though I happen to believe that God created life I was of the understanding that this debate was over what is required for life to replicate. Now the critical element that has to be estabished is what is required for RNA to build a cell. Just a bare minimum will suffice and this debate can take whatever course is available. I dont expect that there will be absolute proof one way or the other but RNA does not produce life all by itself.

Im open minded about a lot but I expect the principle points to be defined. I may well take sides in this at some point but I think we are chasing the wind if we dont establish what is essential to life. For as long as this thread stays open I wont give up the one point that all scientists agree on. The asymmetric relationship of the molecules that is essential for chirilaty. The plain and simple truth is that it is what all living things have in common. Give me the basic elements that seperate chemical composition from replication of living organic systems and I promise you I will bend over backwards to understand the semantics.

This thread has potential so lets not let it turn into a petty spat. As far as Im concerned the basis of the debate has yet to be defined. The question was asked but the substance of the debate is still a matter of opinion and we wont get far if we dont correct that. What are the essential elements required from the chemical componds to the forming the macromolecules needed to build cells? I'll let it go at that and see what kind of a response I get. cool.gif
pheeler
Quark,

I think you and otseng disagree as to whether God is living. Otseng is saying that there had to be a life before ours to create us, that life being an infinite God.

Correct me if I'm wrong, otseng.
nileriver
Well being the chemical that are needed for life are existing in this reality, i would imagine they do being i am sitting here, what does that really mean, biogenesis, theogenesis, abiogeneses, what is the organization of this thread, i would like to know myself. does one mean the other, or is it Theogenesis would mean abiogenesis or that biogenesis requires one of them, what would the order mean, would abiogenesis rule out Theogenesis, would theogenesis rule out what, is biogenesis even an alternative, is this debate bound by logic that does not understand itself laugh.gif or a philosophy of unknown human mechanics of thought, what are the fallacies, i think that would be required before we can debate what we are aware off of what is known as of now, to what will be known in the future, to so many variables, i guess one could look at it as off topic, i donít think this thread has ever been on topic or that a topic existed, according to the first post we were to debate two ideas of lifeís on earths genesis, one of which kind of leads to the other or is an abstraction of the same thing, i guess i am confused as the next man.


I would like to point out that the lab is not the same as the earth over x amount of time with all kinds of unknown varibles and the lack of any real interdisciplinary methods to be used. More or less i feel that a lot of the arguments against abiogenesis could just be pointed back to previous posts.
quarkhead
QUOTE(pheeler @ Oct 2 2003, 09:22 PM)
Quark,

I think you and otseng disagree as to whether God is living. Otseng is saying that there had to be a life before ours to create us, that life being an infinite God.

Correct me if I'm wrong, otseng.

That may be, but it is irrelevant to the debate. Otseng and Zebbeddee both say they want to keep God out of it. Which is fine. I am contending, however, that there is no scientific debate to be had comparing and contrasting biogenesis and abiogenesis when it comes to discussing the origin of life.

Phaedrus is I think correct, we must define our terms for this debate. So far, it has been "argue the pros and cons of abiogenesis theory." Well that's fine and good, but it wasn't the way this thread was started. I maintain that as posited, this is a false debate. There is no biogenetic theory of [i]the origin of life[i]. At least not a scientific theory.

Phaedrus:
QUOTE
This thread has potential so lets not let it turn into a petty spat. As far as Im concerned the basis of the debate has yet to be defined. The question was asked but the substance of the debate is still a matter of opinion and we wont get far if we dont correct that. What are the essential elements required from the chemical componds to the forming the macromolecules needed to build cells?


Sounds good to me. I don't think your question, as specific as it is, relates to this debate. Perhaps biologists and geneticists could argue this astutely; I know I cannot take it to the minute level. Your question may be apt if the terms of the debate are the pros and cons of abiogenetic theory, but as stated, those are not the terms of the debate.
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