Timelines and Perception; Evolution; When Human Life Begins

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wellwisher, May 1, 2015.

  1. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    By definition, evolution begins its timeline at the emergence of life. Darwin's thesis, called the Origin of Species is about fairly advanced life, since the word species is defined as; a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial.

    The timeline of evolution has been extended, since his thesis, to include single cellular life, that does not exchange genes or interbreeds; not a species. The timeline has even even gone back further to replicators, which are strands of RNA and/or DNA capable of acting as templates for their own propagation.

    In terms of a timeline, although this modern definition of evolution brings up back to the humble beginnings of self replicating life, even the modern definition of evolution, comes in late, since a long series of events occurred even before the emergence of replicators and/or life. This is given a different name, abiogenesis; Abiogenesis is the process by which a living organism arises naturally from non-living matter, as opposed to biogenesis, which is the creation of living organisms by other living organisms.

    Evolution, by definition is biogenesis. Evolution is not defined as abiogenesis plus biogenesis, implying evolution begins the story of life, in the middle of a larger intimately related timeline, where many things needed to happen first. The question becomes, does starting the story in the middle; biogenesis, impact perception differently, compared to starting the story of life at the beginning; abiogenesis plus biogenesis? These represent two different origins for drawing a curve; different slopes.
     
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  3. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    What does that have to do with abortion?
     
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I would like to give an analogous example to show a parallel; definition of when human life begins. There are two definitions for when human life begins. One is at conception, and the other is at birth. Conception, to birth, to adulthood, is part of a larger connected timeline in science and medicine. We would not have any need for prenatal care if these were not all connected as part of the same timeline.

    The analogy is conception is analogous to abiogenesis, which is different from evolution; birth, but which nevertheless impacts birth and the future. One might notice, depending on where you place the timeline, results in two different ways of viewing the same thing.

    If the timeline starts at conception, birth has to be more planned earlier in the process. If you start life at birth, there is more room for random spontaneity; because it can be selected or not selected, on a whim over a longer period of time. The timeline of conception/abiogenesis needs more logic/planning and can't depend on whim.

    The current theory of evolution starts the timeline late in terms of all the related events of its humble beginning. The story has less sense of direction and uses a selection process that is subject to chance. Is this scientific POV an artifact of the starting point being in the middle of a larger timeline?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Mostly it's an artefact of your hideous grasp (possibly deliberately so) of science.
     
  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Is it possible to change the title to Timelines and Perception; Evolution and when Human Life Begins. The word abortion is not needed and may trigger subjectivity instead of reason. I will then purge the word abortion, since it is not needed for my example. Maybe I have an unconscious urge to sabotage myself, and I hope I caught this early enough.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    abortion n. [...]; failure; premature termination (of a project, etc.) [...]

    The secondary meaning could thus even reference or forecast such potential results.
     
  10. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Why are you singling out "Human" life specifically? It could apply to gamete fertilization in any sexually reproductive species, couldn't it?
     
  11. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I agree with you about gamete fertilization. The legal system, or humans, have defined human life as starting at birth and not at conception. The point I was making, is this convention starts the theory of human life in the middle of a larger timeline. Gamete fertilization is a more logical place to start the story, but what was chosen, starts later in the timeline.

    The question is, how does this assumption; timeline origin, impact perception? For one thing, it throws logic out the window, in favor of subjectivity and feeling, because it missing essential connections that set the stage. Also humans, once they accept this assumption, view sex as separate from reproduction, because the foundation premise allows this.

    I used this example, because this would be easy to see, due to it being part of cultural life. The theory of evolution does the same thing; there is timeline effect. Abiogenesis, which is the real beginning of life; conception, is treated as separate. The timeline effect behind the theory of evolution begins at the birth of replicators not at abiogenesis. Evolution is less personal to people and is not as easy to see, if you don't understand the cause and effect of extrapolation from foundation theory. This discussion is not about when human life begins but rather how the choice of timeline impacts perception and theory. I used human life as training wheels for the mind before addressing the timeline of evolution.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I have argued evolution from a different POV for many years. My POV is always confused and labeled as a version of intelligent design, to lump it with religion for easy dismissal. But my approach has been to find logic for evolution, even though the consensus prefers and expects random/subjective.

    I finally figured out bothPOV are being true to their foundation theory; connected to timeline. I am more interested in the impact of water, than I am in replicators, so I had to start to at the very beginning; inanimate matter, to figure out the impact of water; conception. This why my model appears more logical. The current theory, by starting later, has more of an abortion option called selection, which allows random conception and selection. This may explain its appeal.

    It makes a difference where you assume the timeline begins.
     
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Intelligent design is design that that is based on intelligence. It is not about jocks beating on the nerd and calling that smarter, because to them might is right.

    Life is built upon carbon, which can form four covalent bonds with other carbon atoms. Carbon can also bond to other atoms, like O,N, P, S, H, etc. Carbon also binds into polymers like proteins. The number of possible unique expressions of carbon based compounds is almost endless, with life making use of millions of unique sequences of atoms. The replicator, time=0, of evolution, begins at a point where there is already a wide diversity of carbon compounds, while mistakes in replicator templates, amplify the number of possible molecules and sequences. Natural selection is how the diversity whittles itself down.

    If we start at abiogenesis as time=0, we don't begin with this carbon diversity. The system is simple enough to see logic based on principles of basic chemistry. Water is the main component, being a solvent, that has certain properties that will set the environmental potential for chemical selection. This is chemical evolution based on chemistry in water. For example, things that are soluble or insoluble in water will forever be that way. The selection is made. It is not about random, where today this is soluble and tomorrow that may be. It is cause and effect with probability=1. We begin with a logical foundation, since we are not as overwhelmed with diversity so early.

    By the time we reach replicators, the water has made many selections, based on its chemistry, so what might appear random at replicator t=0 ( materializes at this t=0) is a logical part of water chemistry, that has been brewing and has been selected based on a billion years of selection. Water does not change, like the endless diversity of carbon. It is designed to be the foundation that holds the weight of carbon.

    For example, proteins in cells fold with exact and unique folds with probability equal to 1.0. These folds are not subject to chance even though the energy to denature such a protein is quite small. The denaturing energy is so small it suggested protein should have average folds, subject to chance, due to the impact of thermal vibrations. This is not observed. Water is what causes this, with this unique folding design selected by water; water adds the stability based on how it binds to protein. Water might well place a limit on the types of protein that are possible or selected, with fold probability < 1.0 never selected; invalid gene. This will need to be repaired and/or updated to make it valid. This is my inference, and would be a good project to develop due to the implications. This is the tip of the iceberg.

    My POV is, water selected many things early, even before replicators, and continues to play a role in the internal chemical selection process, since there are certain constraints water places, based on its unique chemistry; loads the dice. DNA is the most hydrated molecule in the cell. It is the most aligned with the needs of water.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The phrase "intelligent design" has been co-opted by religious fundamentalists. It now refers to a conjecture which accepts most of the elements of evolution, but overlays them with a supernatural component that overrides both survival of the fittest and random mutation. Instead, it insists that an "intelligent designer" has been overseeing the entire progression from primitive single-celled organisms (presumably the kingdoms of archaea and bacteria) to the kingdom of animals, and eventually to the class of mammals, and finally to the species of humans.
     
  15. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

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    Excellent point!
     
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I interpret intelligent design, as meaning a sense of order. Instead of using God in science discussions, to me the order is created by physical laws, which themselves, are based on logic and order.

    For example, the periodic table of the elements, does not change in a random way over time nor was it a product of throwing dice. The table of elements has an order that stems from the laws of physics, and not some randomizer effect. Astronomers do not expect to see other period tables in other galaxies. Astronomy assumes the same atoms and the same electron transitions occur in all places, allowing them to investigate galaxies on the other side of the universe. Random would not allow one to do such investigations. The periodic table is made from loaded dice.

    It is not a randomizer coincidence that oxygen is the most common atom, formed by stars, after the original BB made hydrogen and helium. It is not coincidence that water is the second most common molecule in the universe; behind hydrogen gas, and that water is most common solid material in the universe; ice. The laws of physics predict that this will occur, with this also proven by observation. Intelligent design is about extrapolating this order to life. If one does not know enough about the physics and chemistry this order might be projected into and given a word; God, which gives one that sense of awe that one can also get if you understand the basic laws of sincere.

    Life, as we know, uses water, which science has shown, is a dominant material within the universe. Life in water take advantage of nature's bounty. That is intelligent and a good selection. The precursors of water, oxygen O2 and hydrogen H2, sets energy ceiling, relative to all the materials that life uses. If we burn any material is the cell in oxygen, the energy is below the hydrogen and oxygen flame, with all making water. Liquid water generates the most dense hydrogen bonding environment of all possible solvents. Again, nothing but the best will do, with the best being defined by the peaks in the laws of physics. There is a pattern forming.
     
  17. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I interpret intelligent design, as meaning a sense of order. Instead of using God in science discussions, to me the order is created by physical laws, which themselves, are based on logic and order.

    For example, the periodic table of the elements, does not change in a random way over time nor was it a product of throwing dice. The table of elements has an order that stems from the laws of physics, and not some randomizer effect. Astronomers do not expect to see other period tables in other galaxies. Astronomy assumes the same atoms and the same electron transitions occur in all places, allowing them to investigate galaxies on the other side of the universe. Random would not allow one to do such investigations. The periodic table is made from loaded dice.

    It is not a randomizer coincidence that oxygen is the most common atom, formed by stars, after the original BB made hydrogen and helium. It is not coincidence that water is the second most common molecule in the universe; behind hydrogen gas, and that water is most common solid material in the universe; ice. The laws of physics predict that this will occur, with this also proven by observation. Intelligent design is about extrapolating this order to life. If one does not know enough about the physics and chemistry this order might be projected into and given a word; God, which gives one that sense of awe that one can also get if you understand the basic laws of sincere.

    Life, as we know, uses water, which science has shown, is a dominant material within the universe. Life in water take advantage of nature's bounty. That is intelligent and a good selection. The precursors of water, oxygen O2 and hydrogen H2, sets energy ceiling, relative to all the materials that life uses. If we burn any material is the cell in oxygen, the energy is below the hydrogen and oxygen flame, with all making water. Liquid water generates the most dense hydrogen bonding environment of all possible solvents. Again, nothing but the best will do, with the best being defined by the peaks in the laws of physics. There is a pattern forming.

    This topic is about timelines. One can see my thinking starts much further back than the first cell. It questions, why is oxygen and water such stable materials to be so common? From this we can learn secrets. Iff you come into a story in the middle of the second act, there will be lost context. It makes no sense to begin a complex journey with hard to get resources. The easier to get these resource becomes the easier the journey. One does not have to depend on fate and dice to provide at critical points.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Defining 'species' is an open problem in the philosophy of biology. Introductory biology classes make it sound a lot less complicated than it is.

    Single celled life, such as bacteria, do exchange genetic information. But yes, the 'species' concept is more problematic when applied to microorganisms. It's often defined around small differences in their biochemistry.

    http://biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap03/mobile_genes.html

    Yes. I personally have doubts about whether DNA or RNA were the original chemical replicators, but that's all speculative.

    I think that the concept of natural selection still applies at the chemical replicator level. There hypothetically were chemical structures that were replicating themselves, some different than others, with those differences associated with different success rates in the replication process. So we would expect to see the more successful variants becoming more prevalent in the population of replicators. These would be species of a sort, chemical species, even if the high-school biological definition of 'species' doesn't apply to them very straightforwardly. (Chemists use the word 'species' too.)



    My impression is that biologists don't use the word 'abiogenesis' very often, and then in the context of things like Pasteur's experiments. They use the phrase 'origin of life' to speak of the origin of life.

    But yes, the origin of life might not have been a single event that took place in a single place at a particular point in time. It might have involved a whole series of events, as incremental improvements appeared in chemical replicators.

    The word 'evolution' means 'change over time'. Stars evolve, landscapes evolve. The important concept in the case of biological evolution is natural selection. This is an abstract process that can apply to anything that replicates, provided there is variation in the replicating population that effects replicative success. That should apply just as well to chemical replicators as to animal species.

    Nobody really knows how life initially appeared. There are lots of speculative hypotheses about it, but nobody really knows.

    I don't understand what you are saying there. Darwin traced natural selection back to the mysterious origin of life, which he admitted he didn't understand. I don't perceive any problems in thinking about things that way.

    If you are suggesting that more attention should be directed at trying to understand the origin of life, I'm inclined to agree.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015

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