Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by river-wind, Jul 23, 2007.
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So why does it carry this container around then? Why does it bother? What's keeping the container from falling apart?
I don't think we are ever going to see eye to eye on this one so let's agree to disagree.
To answer your questions, IT doesn't bother, it just happens to be that way. You seem to be think of whaat it would mean for a man to carry a useless burden; this does not apply at the level we are discussing. What keeps it from fallimg apart ? I don't know, other than to say because of its properties.
Why is water wet ? Should I like for an agent ?
Why not just say "God does it"?
Water is an unusual molecule. Without water, particularly in its liquid form, life would arguably not be around.
Metabolism involves a fundamental property of water (and amphiphilism).
Do you know what a reversible chemical reaction, and free energy is?
Let's leave it. You cannot see that you are asking the wrong question. BTW, you still have not said why waters is wet; you have just gone all around the houses to avoid answering.
Water is wet because it is water; there is no agent involved. Ditto mutation.
And you cannot see that the question you keep asking isn't a question. So, a lack of willingness to consider another view is the only thing being "said".
Since you haven't "said" anything to indicate a real understanding even of some basic chemical principles, but prefer to waffle on about "random" change, you probably can't do much more.
Water, or H2O, is unusual; in its liquid form, it can collect around (hydrate) other molecules; hydrated and dehydrated chemistry is part of the agency behind biochemical evolution.
But according to you, water is "what it is" because "God made it that way". So what got "made", then?
P.S. I give your response a certain (somewhere near 0.5) probability of containing something like: "you're just not seeing my point", or somesuch.
Do you know what persistence is; can you explain why organisms persist? Whereas a fire doesn't?
I think the problem is that your explanations are very metaphyical and abstract and its is difficult for many to follow you.
Metaphysics is tied up in H2O and Darwinism? Or biochemistry?
OK, but can you show me where?
Hey, I'm not debating you, just giving a suggestion.
OK. Just to be clear, an organism is a container, and it persists as a container, not because of "its properties", but because the organism constantly rebuilds the container.
Organisms can direct reversible reactions, such as hydrolysis, by making them effectively irreversible.
It has to use some energy to do this, but there's this stuff called pyrophosphate, or just "ATP", which carries pyrophosphate, and gets replenished from ADP to ATP, also by using stored ATP to do this.
2 pyrophosphates make 1, which is a single ADP to ATP esterification. Although a cell uses more energy than it makes, the key is that the energy is both storable and transportable around the cellular matrix.
There's all this "controlled" or structured chemistry, and the sequestration of water - but also the absence of water, which gives the structure its functionality.
And none of that has directed purpose. It has evolved through chance events. Is this what you deny?
But it is directed.
Very much so - if it wasn't, there wouldn't be any cells, or membranes, or proteins in them. There wouldn't be any directed storage and subsequent use (i.e. control) of energy as pyrophosphate (ATP).
If it's directed, that implies a director.
How is direction not purposeful? How is adaptation (something that we do as organisms and see other organisms doing) not purposeful?
Evolution is chance the same way betting on a hand of poker is chance.
In order for there to be chance in such a game, there has to be players, and betting, right?
Is playing a game or betting purposeful or not?
Is purpose some "feature" that emerges because chance exists, in and of itself?
That's one way of looking at it. Evolution incorporates chance.
I'm not following your logic there. Darwinian theory takes care of that - provides a theory of how things like cells can form without direction.
Cells can form without direction? How? You mean they get assembled by a "Darwinian" theory?
How does it cater for the persistence (survival) of organisms? Or once a cell has been assembled (without any direction), does it just "keep going", for no apparent reason?
It's all just chance, the random meeting of molecules (or fortuitous circumstance)?
I find this hard to believe - cells simply don't assemble together passively; there's a lot of activity involved. This activity comes from "nowhere"?
As you say biological evolution incorporates chance.
So does chance exist as a separate entity, that then affects organisms, which are like passive objects?
Or is chance something that appears because of the way organisms evolve biologically?
An Argument from Incredulity carries zero weight.
It comes from the fundamental laws of chemistry and physics working their way, by chance, within a given environment.
So every cell in your body just "happened", because of "fundamental laws"?
Every activity in every cell that equals you being alive, is due to chance?
I don't think that's how it goes. A cell assembles itself (constantly), this is all just random interactions?
How do the chemistry and physics "work their way", if they're just laws? What's this "chance" - is it to do with chaotic motion, or the probability of two chemicals "getting together"?
The given environment is what exactly? A pond full of chemicals? The ocean?
You emerged from the ocean? I don't think that's right either, you would have gestated inside a placental mammal (H. sapiens, presumably?), and been "born" viviparously, surely (that is, as a whole, functioning organism)?
I still find it hard to believe that a cell is a result of random chemical interactions, actually this is probably because a cell isn't the result of random chemical interactions - not for at least the last 4.1b years, anyway.
Chance is another word for "probability." In this case it's a conventional abbreviation for the phrase "random chance," which is our description of a system with a large number of possible outcomes, all of which have more-or-less equal probabilities because the structure of the system does not especially favor one over the other. ("More-or-less" and "especially" are inserted because slight variations in the nature of the outcomes may in fact result in slight differences in probability which nonetheless, in aggregate, do not significantly contradict the given description of the system from our high-level perspective.)
Chance does not "appear." It is an element of the structure of our universe, just like its Euclidean geometry, its Newtonian laws of motion, its four elementary forces, its lightspeed limitation on velocity, its Heisenbergian uncertainty, etc. Without chance, our universe would be unrecognizably different, just as it would be without the attraction of gravity or without the Euclidean phenomenon of parallel lines that never quite meet at either end.
In the case under discussion, probability theory (or "chance") explains why, if a particular event occurs a great many times and continues occurring, and all outcomes have more-or-less-equal probabilities, as time passes the probability that every outcome occurs at least once approaches 1.0 .
Furthermore, as the number of occurrences approaches infinity, the distribution of occurrences will approach the distribution of their probability, i.e., a "more or less" equal percentage of each occurrence.
Fraggle: thanks for the attempt at answering this, but I'm going to have a go at it myself.
Absolutely, chance is fundamental to chemical reactions and physical processes.
Chance is not separate, it's part of everything.
No, chance exists. But the chances applicable to evolving organisms are because of the "game" of life - which involves competition, fundamentally, and co-operation, fundamentally. Without these, life would not have "made it" - it would not be around.
Chance and probability are inherent in any passive system, but lifeforms aren't passive. Chance and opportunity exist for active things (organisms), that aren't accessible to passive systems. Organisms can improve their chances (of survival), by adapting as a species.
Adaptation, and changing survival probability, is something passive chemicals just don't do. Organised chemical systems, with a lot of internal functional structure, compartmentalisation (separation) of reactions, and active transport, can do this; they can give themselves a "better chance", by sacrificing individuals who don't adapt successfully to selection, and retaining successfully adapted individuals, who aren't selected against. Organisms can respond as a species, to external changes - passive chemicals can't do this. There's a big difference between a collection of chemicals and a viable organism.
P.S. No-one has actually defined what a species is - we already know that a species isn't a single organism (single organisms don't evolve).
Or isn't it? A single bacterial cell can become a whole heap of cells - is that a species? Or is a species all the variants, of a particular genome, whatever that is? Or is the definition even more general?
What "scientific theory" do you think is being denied?
The "religion" I refer to is the sort of thing you see when people get all religious about their understanding of some theory.
Evolution (of the biological kind) appears to especially attract these types.
For example, someone said something like: "an organism is a container, that exists because of its properties".
Which looks an awful lot like: "an organism exists because God made it that way".
Don't you think?
Or something like: "genes get mutated, this is due to chance, so evolution is a chance process". Which completely ignores the observed fact that genes are altered by organisms too (apart from getting mutated over time - DNA has an inherent variability due to its structure, and things like ionising radiation).
Organisms "swap" DNA, and alter their genes this way too - i.e. active (not passive) genetic variation.
Then there's all that competition to explain away. How do passive lifeforms compete or co-operate?
Answer: they don't, passive lifeforms are dead lifeforms.
Decidedly not. These are two completely different things. One is ascribing the characteristics of life to the laws of the universe acting in a random fashion; the other is applying a teleological bent to the Universe.
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