Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Red Dawn, May 30, 2009.
chemical reactions in the primordial soup are shown to create RNA
Most scientists in the field of astrobiology assume that life is likely to develop anywhere conditions exist to support it, and that the pre-biotic chemistry is ubiquitous in the universe. It is even recognized as a strong possibility that life on earth may have originated from Mars, when a large body impacted Mars propelling "life"suspended in Martian rock into space eventually - within a few millions of years - to have fallen to Earth.
The search for the beginnings of life are similar in a way to the search for the first exo-planets. No astronomer was willing to go out on a limb and say that there were actually any planets orbiting other stars making up other stellar systems like our own. At least not until one had been found by spectrographic observation of perturbations of stars in their motions caused by large dark orbiting bodies. If those dark bodies are not brown-dwarfs because they are not large enough to create fusion on their own, they are considered to be planetary sized bodies.
Once that determination was made through observation, we could acknowledge their ubiquity, and begin refining our methods of detection and conclude that most stars have planets of all sizes orbiting them.
exciting times indeed, in the fields of evolution, astronomy and abiogenesis.
the history channel had a show on that primate fossil they found that is potentially a transitional fossil between the human lineage and the lemur lineage in the evolutionary chain. Good times.
I read this one quite a while ago. It isn't new but constantly dragged out by those who want to hang their theory regarding the origin of life on this "primordial soup" notion -even though they keep running into the same problems. First and foremost are the true properties of chemicals and basic chemistry. The other is the fact that the environment at the time life is thought to have very first appeared -was extremely hostile to the existence of any kind of life. Nonliving materials and chemicals NEVER bestow life upon itself now under ANY conditions when conditions are the best for the survival of that resulting life -but ONLY did so when conditions for survival of that life were extremely unfavorable and least likely for that life to survive at all? Yeah right.
RNA is simply a nucleic acid with a known chemical makeup -it is a chemical compound, that's all. Its existence outside a living cell doesn't really mean anything except that scientists have finally figured out how at least some of the chemical process to get that chemical compound to form. If a chemical compound exists in nature, then the nature of the process that resulted in that chemical compound is knowable by humans -if given enough time. Just like they figured out how to get the chemical compound of water to form or how to a crystal of salt to form. But that chemical compound is not "life" and it does not bestow life on a living cell -it isn't what makes a living cell "alive". Only inside a living cell is it a chemical compound that plays a role in furthering other chemical reactions that are all vital for the proper functioning of a living cell. But none of these vital chemicals, compounds and chemical reactions themselves are actually "life" or alive. And they are not capable of bestowing life upon itself either. No nonliving material can do that. Even Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein knew enough to use the tissue of previously living beings to try and give life to his monster -not by getting lightening to strike a batch of nonliving chemicals.
Think about this one, ok? It is a known scientific fact that no amount of combining, stirring, heating up, electroshocking or manipulation of any soup of chemicals or its surrounding environment has EVER resulted in inanimate, nonliving chemicals bestowing life upon itself. That is just basic chemistry and scientific facts - not something I made up. Scientists know it is a fact that the only proven scientific way for any life form to be created is by means of another life. Not ever by means of nonliving chemicals. Nonliving materials and chemicals do not EVER have the property to bestow life upon itself. But that is exactly what those stuck on this primordial soup stuff keep insisting -that nonliving materials not only bestowed life upon ITSELF - but in spite of the fact no combination of nonliving chemicals have ever bestowed life upon itself on earth TODAY, no form of life has or was ever created by nonliving chemicals just bestowing life upon itself either on earth or on any other planet in the known universe -they insist that nonliving materials bestowing life upon itself is actually a "natural" event. Even though it is one that never occurs or is seen in nature. ROFL! The person who discovers a SINGLE form of life that occurred because nonliving chemicals bestowed life upon itself and did not emerge from its living parent would be making WORLD SHATTERING history. That has never happened -and never will because that event does not occur in nature in the first place. It makes interesting science fiction stories to PRETEND that nonliving chemicals can possess the ability to bestow life upon itself -but it is still science fiction.
You and the cells of your body are interdependant upon the other so that both may live -but you are not sharing identical lives with the individual cells of your body -which is why you and the living cells of your body die separate deaths. The individual cells and organs don't die the instant you do but over the course of many hours -which is why organ transplants are possible. YOU don't die a little bit just because you donated a "spare" organ or blood while alive -even if that donated organ is later rejected and dies. You aren't alive at all if donating an organ after your death. And even though the cells of that organ are alive and it will continue to live for many years to come, it isn't YOUR life that is continuing. You remain dead even while your body parts may go on living. But how is that even possible for YOU to have a life that isn't the shared and identical life of the living cells and organs of your body? Think a scientist will ever find that answer by mixing the proper amounts of chemicals in the lab and then waiting for it to bestow life upon itself? (And that isn't even getting into similarly tricky questions that scientists will also never be able to answer like how is it possible for unconcious, nonliving materials to result in a living entity that is self-aware and concious. Or questions about why we aren't just biological computers, simply programmed to respond to environmental stimuli in a preprogrammed, predictable and unconcious manner. But we'll leave those questions for some other thread.)
So it is something else entirely that bestows life, not something bestowed by the proper combination of nonliving chemicals stirred together. In spite of the fact that there are always some scientists in every generation intent on proving that life is the "natural" result of somehow getting the right combination of chemicals in the right environment where it will suddenly possess this never-before-seen and never-will-see-again magical property of bestowing life upon itself -they have only proven the exact opposite. How exceptionally rare, precious and to a a degree of near scientific certainty - that life was NOT the result of a natural event.
Scientific truth doesn't require a leap of faith with zero evidence to back it up. Matters of faith are a religious issue and religion can and does require a leap of faith -it is the underlying foundation of religion itself. But that isn't true for science, leaps of faith have no role in science and science prides itself on not making or demanding unsubstantiated leaps of faith. Even though the left often demands worship at the altar of science and demands leaps of faith in uproven scientific theories - scientists themselves, who know they get it totally wrong thousands and thousands of times more often then they get it right -do not. Science demands an honest assessment of ONLY the known and irrefutable scientific facts. Not adherence to that which is nothing but unsubstantiated conjecture. Everything science has shown us regarding the origins of life repeatedly shows it was most likely due to an UNNATURAL event. Science hasn't proven it was due to a supernatural event and probably cannot ever do so either -but it can and has repeatedly shown it was not likely due to a natural event. And has done so in spite of the fervent and overwhelming desire by some to try and prove it was due to a natural event. Each time it only reaffirms the same thing over and over. That nonliving chemical compounds are the only results of mixing chemicals either in the lab or in nature -and that the origin of life is only getting less likely than ever to be the result of any natural event. Natural events occur spontaneously in nature -like tsunamis and meteor strikes. Even when extremely rare, natural events must actually be SEEN TO OCCUR IN NATURE in order to be considered a natural event. Time to stop pretending that IF chemicals once possessed a magic ability to bestow life upon itself, even though this magic ability has never before seen any time before or since at any time in any chemical, combination of chemicals or any chemical process in any kind of environment either on this planet or any in the known universe at any time EVER and chemicals sure don't have the property to bestow life upon itself TODAY or known to EVER --that chemicals with the ability to bestow life upon itself is a "natural" event. We are just narrowing down the options for how this unnatural event occurred. When all possible scenarios but one have been scientifically eliminated, it doesn't matter whether you personally like the only one that remains. The remaining one is the one most likely to be true -whether you like the implications of that truth or not. We haven't yet ruled out some alien species seeding our planet. But until we find a planet with a super advanced intelligent race that has developed incredible interplanetary means of space travel and who, for some weird reason decided to seed our planet instead of just moving here themselves -AND didn't want the emerging species to easily discover their origins as transplanted life instead of originating on earth - it too makes fine science fiction plots.
Mixing chemicals and manipulating its surrounding environment can only result in the creation of known but always NONLIVING chemical compounds. Which is EXACTLY what was done in this article. It actually answers nothing about the origins of life as opposed to answering a specific question about how to get a certain chemical compound to form outside a living cell. But it isn't "life" or anything close to life, not just about to bestow life upon itself either -because EVERYONE knows it is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE for nonliving materials to bestow life upon itself! If you doubt me -go ask any scientist if they REALLY believe that nonliving materials possess the ability to bestow life upon itself and the only reason it has never been seen anywhere on this planet or anywhere at any time in the known universe is just because scientists haven't yet figured out how to coax chemicals into revealing this magical talent! LOL
So no matter that some scientists will always be desperate to come up with an explanation for how it is possible at all and want to insist it is something that is NATURAL for nonliving materials to bestow life upon itself -we already know there would be nothing natural about it. Because we already know for a scientific fact that it never EVER happens in nature at all. Which is why story plots involving nonliving materials suddenly bestowing life upon itself is the stuff of science fiction. Certainly entertaining if well written - but doesn't alter that "fiction" part.
The word "natural" means -"readily occurs in nature" and "occurring spontaneously in nature without the hand of man". Which means it must actually be SEEN to occur in nature -somewhere, someplace. It does NOT mean something that only occurs due to intense manipulation by an intelligent being -especially since in spite of that intense manipulation by man, nonliving materials and chemicals have STILL never been coaxed into bestowing life upon itself -and never will. NONLIVING stuff cannot bestow life upon itself. But IF you ever see that happen, it won't ever be the result of anything "natural". LOL
Even the movie Transformers had to get around this scientific truth with the "Lifespark" -a cube of unknown origin and creation that just "magically" endows non-living materials with life. And they did because EVERYONE already knows for a fact that nonliving materials are incapable of bestowing life upon ITSELF. In nature, we see nothing but the same scientific truth every single day. Life is always bestowed by an already living entity or force -UPON ANOTHER. Without exception. And zero times when it is nonliving materials arising from the heap after bestowing life upon itself. THAT is the scenario that never happens.
So the REAL scientific question is what outside force bestowed that first life on earth. It is scientists themselves who have repeatedly proven that nonliving materials and chemicals do NOT possess some magical abilty to bestow life upon itself and therefore life could not have arisen from nonliving materials and chemicals. No matter how much they believe it is just matter of altering some formula or getting some magic combination correct, it is a SCIENTIFIC FACT that nonliving material is incapable of bestowing life on itself -or anything else. We already know with scientific certainty that it HAD to be an outside force -because it is for EVERY form of life ever seen at any time and without exception. And because nonliving materials NEVER possess the ability to bestow life upon itself -also without exception. Not possible for nonliving materials to bestow life upon itself now, not on any planet, not under any circumstances, not in any environment -and it didn't then either.
Scientists NEED to keep trying to "prove" that nonliving materials and chemicals can "naturally" possess the ability to bestow life upon itself - because it is only through their repeated failures that people over time can ever end up accepting the scientific truth and facts regarding this. The nonstop accumulation of failures to try and coax nonliving materials into bestowing life upon itself means more and more as time passes. Those repeated failures means we gain more and more scientific knowledge -because it isn't just the successes in science that have something to teach -but our failures and provenly wrong theories do as well. In spite of the VAST increase and rapid growth in human knowledge, under no conditions imaginable have nonliving materials and chemicals ever ended up bestowing life upon itself and at some point man will have to accept that is an indisputable scientific fact. Even though at some point, constantly repeating the same thing hoping to get a different result is the definition of insanity, those scientists still intent on trying to prove that nonliving material can bestow life upon itself do perform a valuable service -by affirming once again what we all know to be true. Those scientists will have done their bit in helping prove that the appearance of life on a planet that was previously devoid of all life as earth once was - is an UNNATURAL event. And we can move on and try to study, understand, grasp and grapple with the nature and circumstances of that never-before-seen event -and never-been-repeated event.
Extreme Life - Conan the Bacterium
Weizmann Institute scientists have found what makes the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans the most radiation-resistant organism in the world: The microbe's DNA is packed tightly into a ring. The findings, published in the January 10 issue of Science, solve a mystery that has long engaged the scientific community.
"The red bacterium can withstand 1.5 million rads-a thousand times more than any other life form on Earth and three thousand that of humans. Its healthy appetite has made it a reliable worker at nuclear waste sites, where it eats up nuclear waste and transforms it into more disposable derivatives. The ability to withstand other extreme stresses, such as dehydration and low temperatures, makes the microbe one of the few life forms found on the North Pole. It is not surprising, then, that it has been the source of much curiosity worldwide, recently leading to a debate between NASA and Russian scientists the latter saying that it originated on Mars, where radiation levels are higher.....
Deinococcus radiodurans was discovered decades ago in canned food that was sterilized using radiation. Red patches appeared in the cans - colonies of the bacterium - setting off questions as to how it could have survived. Though these questions have now been answered, the tide of speculation as to how these defense mechanisms evolved - and where - is likely to continue."
Your point? So this bacterium is radiation resistant -does that somehow explain the origin of this bacterium or life itself in your mind? Not sure where you are going with this one. It is interesting to know for knowledge's sake but not enlightening regarding the origins of life. At the time life is believed to have first appeared on earth, it wasn't radiation exposure that caused the hostile environment for life. Earth already had an atmosphere that filtered and protected the earth from the extremes of direct solar radiation. It was the cyanide, formaldehyde and ammonia-filled atmosphere that existed at the time that was extremely hostile to the existence of any form of life. If there is a form of life that thrives on that toxic cocktail, scientists haven't discovered it.
I just put it out there for anyone who has an open mind about the possibilities suggested in any of that.
BTW it makes for a cleaner thread if we edit out text that is clearly standing in the previous post.
What is the definition of life?
It is very difficult to categorize. So if you say life is never bestowed by chemicals, then I think it is only fair to ask what you define as life.
We're running out of places to put nails in the creationism coffin.
Separate names with a comma.