Chemical evolution:

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    An exaggeration at best James. But it appears you have accepted my theory of evolution being fact and theory as correct/? Irrespective it is according to the references I gave.
    Now we need attend to the misunderstanding of Abiogenesis, as I put it, not as you abbreviated it of course.
    My evidence for Abiogenesis being a fact is simply that that is the position that most reputable scientists take...They speak of life from non life...or Abiogenesis. Same thing even though we are ignorant of the pathway.
    The following paper, obviously also takes that position....
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-58060-0
    Emergence of life in an inflationary universe
    Abstract:
    Abiotic emergence of ordered information stored in the form of RNA is an important unresolved problem concerning the origin of life. A polymer longer than 40–100 nucleotides is necessary to expect a self-replicating activity, but the formation of such a long polymer having a correct nucleotide sequence by random reactions seems statistically unlikely. However, our universe, created by a single inflation event, likely includes more than 10/100 Sun-like stars. If life can emerge at least once in such a large volume, it is not in contradiction with our observations of life on Earth, even if the expected number of abiogenesis events is negligibly small within the observable universe that contains only 10/22 stars. Here, a quantitative relation is derived between the minimum RNA length lmin required to be the first biological polymer, and the universe size necessary to expect the formation of such a long and active RNA by randomly adding monomers. It is then shown that an active RNA can indeed be produced somewhere in an inflationary universe, giving a solution to the abiotic polymerization problem. On the other hand, lmin must be shorter than ~20 nucleotides for the abiogenesis probability close to unity on a terrestrial planet, but a self-replicating activity is not expected for such a short RNA. Therefore, if extraterrestrial organisms of a different origin from those on Earth are discovered in the future, it would imply an unknown mechanism at work to polymerize nucleotides much faster than random statistical processes.

     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I consider life and living organisms as highly evolved biochemical complexities, even as single celled organisms.
    And as "irreducible complexity" has been falsified, it inevitably leads to the conclusion that life must have evolved from simpler non-living bio-molecular forms, which gradually acquired the dynamical abilities for independent existence.
    https://www.toppr.com/ask/question/...i-performing-the-essential-functions-of-life/
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Two interesting comments, one early in the piece, the other, err supporting James, naturally.
    So those claiming that Abiogenesis is the only scientific process, are labouring under a delusion that the standard naturalistic assumption that natural processes were obviously responsible for the emergence of life [Abiogenesis] should not be, or is not a theory, because? because we don't know the exact pathway at this time?
    That's an all time funny funny!!!

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    deserved of a star.

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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The great scientist Forrest Gump has been quoted as; "Natural is as Natural does."....

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    No. You're still missing the point.

    Personally, I think it's a waste of time quibbling about whether evolution (in general) is a theory or a fact. On the other hand, if you're going to talk about the "theory of evolution" it seems silly to me to call it a fact. I like to maintain some distinction between facts and theories. In my book, theories are ideas that explain collections of facts, patterns in facts, causal links between facts - that kind of thing.

    I have no problem at all with the idea of abiogenesis. Unless life was created magically in a single act of God, or whatever, then it stands to reason that at some point life had to come from non-life by natural processes.

    However, the fact that I don't believe that the God explanation is a likely solution in no way means that I believe that any "theory of abiogenesis" exists or has been proven.

    Thus, the point I have been trying to make is that, in science, "theories" are generally strongly-evidenced inferences that explain observations of the natural world. Usually they answer "how" questions, like "How does the force of gravity allow us to predict planetary orbits?". The theory there might be "Newton's law of gravity says that gravity is an inverse square law blah blah blah... and we can show mathematically by the following process that orbits are elliptical blah blah blah... and we can calculate the positions of the planets precisely within the following limits blah blah blah..."

    In that light, then, consider your idea of a "theory of abiogenesis". Such a theory would answer the following "how" question: "How did life arise from non-life?" Then we get stuck. We can't currently say anything like "The theory says that from initial elements blah blah blah, the following processes caused the following set of chemical changes blah blah blah, and eventually we get to step 324, where we see that a living virus/prion/cell/whatever has been produced. From then on, standard evolutionary processes apply."

    Because we currently don't have steps 1 through 324, there's currently no theory of abiogenesis.

    Sure, there are speculative hypotheses about how certain steps in the process of abiogenesis might occur. Maybe we have some ideas about what steps 23, 57, 113 through 120 and 287 might be, but that's not yet a theory. It's all in pieces. Nothing is tied together in a coherent whole yet. And that's what science demands - along with solid evidence to support it - before you can stop calling something a hypothesis and start calling it a theory.
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    No, actually you are missing the point.
    I'll accept that as a round about way of saying I am essentially correct. Take a deep breath James and it becomes easier.
    I'll state it again, Abiogenesis is our only scientific answer as to the arising of life...any ID side track by you , is unscientific myth.
    If its alright with you, I'll accept the more reputable explanations and reasonings as linked. It is the only scientific explanation.
    Nice story.
    What should be considered again is that Abiogenesis is the only scientific theory for how Life arose. While we remain ignorant of the pathway is no reason why normal reasoning and logic should be discarded.
    I'll accept the more competent responses thank you.

    Also I would read post 323
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    You didn't take in anything I told you. How surprising.

    Not a theory, for reasons I clearly explained.

    I'm done wasting my time on you with this. It's pointless. You're as stuck as Q-reeus.
     
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  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Tell me James, is there any other scientific theory, reasoning for how life came to be?
    I'm all ears.
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Just on the issue of evolution being fact and theory, my understanding of that is that we have direct observation of some evolution occurring, for example in the acquisition of resistance to antibiotics and chemotherapy agents etc. So that type of evolution can be said to be an incontrovertible fact. One can even analyse populations of the cells in which these adaptations are occurring, to verify that the adapted ones are reproducing more successfully etc., thereby validating the mechanism of change.

    What we have to infer, more indirectly, by means of the "theory", is the means by which fossil forms alter through time and allow us to build cladograms, the "tree" of life and so forth.
     
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  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Just put this in another thread but suitable here also.................
    file:///C:/Users/BARRY/Downloads/Pross2011_Article_TowardAGeneralTheoryOfEvolutio%20(1).pdf

    Toward a general theory of evolution: Extending Darwinian theory to inanimate matter:

    Abstract;

    Though Darwinian theory dramatically revolutionized biological understanding, its strictly biological focus has resulted in a widening conceptual gulf between the biological and physical sciences. In this paper we strive to extend and reformulate Darwinian theory in physicochemical terms so it can accommodate both animate and inanimate systems, thereby helping to bridge this scientific divide. The extended formulation is based on the recently proposed concept of dynamic kinetic stability and data from the newly emerging area of systems chemistry. The analysis leads us to conclude that abiogenesis and evolution, rather than manifesting two discrete stages in the emergence of complex life, actually constitute one single physicochemical process. Based on that proposed unification, the extended theory offers some additional insights into life’s unique characteristics, as well as added means for addressing the three central questions of biology: what is life, how did it emerge, and how would one make it?


    3. Concluding remarks
    Darwin’s contribution to modern scientific thought is profound and irrevocable. It has forever changed man’s view of himself and his place in the universe. By demonstrating the interconnectedness of all living things, Darwin brought a unity and coherence to biology that continues to impact on the subject to this day. But a paradoxical side product of that extraordinary contribution with its specific focus on living things, was that it resulted in a distancing between the biological and the physical sciences, one that continues to afflict the natural sciences. The disturbing result - despite the enormous contribution of the Darwinian theme, Darwinism remains unable to explain what life is, how it emerged, and how living things relate to non-living ones. The challenge therefore is clear. The scientific goal - the relentless striving toward the unification of science - requires that the chasm that divides and separates the biological from the physical sciences be bridged. In this paper we have attempted to demonstrate that by reformulating and incorporating the Darwinian theme within a general physicochemical scheme, one that rests on the concept of dynamic kinetic stability, the animate-inanimate connection can be strengthened. What the general scheme suggests is that life is, first and foremost, a highly complex dynamic network of chemical reactions that rests on an autocatalytic foundation, is driven by the kinetic power of autocatalysis, and has expanded octopus-like from some primal replicative system from which the process of complexification toward more complex systems was initiated. Thus life as it is can never be readily classified and categorized because life is more a process than a thing. In that sense Whitehead’s process philosophy [65] with its emphasis on process over substance seems to have been remarkably prescient. Even the identification and classification of separate individual life forms within that ever expanding network seems increasingly problematic. The revelation that the cellular mass that we characterize as an individual human being (you, me, or the girl next door) actually consists of significantly more bacterial cells than human cells (~1014 compared to ~1013) [66], all working together in a symbiotic relationship to establish a dynamic kinetically stable system, is just one striking example of the difficulty. As humans we naturally focus on what we identify as the human component of that elaborate biological network, but that of course is an anthropocentric view, one that has afflicted human thinking for millennia. A description closer the truth would seem to be that life is a sprawling interconnected dynamic network in which some connections are tighter, others looser, but a giant dynamic network nonetheless. And it is life’s dynamic character that explains why identifiable individual life forms - small segments of that giant network - can be so fragile, so easy to undermine through network deconstruction, whereas the goal of creating life is such a formidable one. A closing remark concerning life’s complexity. Life is complex - that is undeniable. But that does not necessarily mean that the life principle is complex. In fact we would argue that the life principle is in some sense relatively simple! Indeed, simple rules can lead to complex patterns, as studies in complexity have amply demonstrated [67,68]. So we would suggest that life, from its simple beginnings as some minimal replicating system, and following a simple rule - the drive toward greater dynamic kinetic stability within replicator space - is yet another example of that fundamental idea. A final comment: this paper has discussed the concept of dynamic kinetic stability in some detail, and the question as to which stability kind - dynamic kinetic or thermodynamic - is inherently preferred in nature, could be asked. There is, of course, no formal answer to this question. In contrast to thermodynamic stability, dynamic kinetic stability is, as noted earlier, not readily quantifiable. Nevertheless an intriguing observation can be made. Since the emergence of life on earth from some initial replicating entity some 4 billion years ago, life has managed to dramatically diversify and multiply, having taken root in almost every conceivable ecological niche. Just the bacterial biomass on our planet alone has been estimated to be some 2.1014 tons, sufficient to cover the earth’s land surface to a depth of 1.5 meters [69]. The conclusion seems inescapable - there is a continual transformation of ‘regular’ matter into replicative matter (permitted by the supply of an almost endless source of energy), suggesting that in some fundamental manner replicative matter is the more ‘stable’ form. What implications this continuing transformation might have on cosmology in general is beyond both our understanding and the scope of this paper.
     
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  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Your use of the word "other" makes the wrong assumption, again. Why waste more time on you?
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever James...but again, the question stands...do you have another theory as to how life arose...a scientific theory obviously.
     
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  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Why, paddo, life arose from life, is that not obvious. If you dare propose any other method, such as Abiogenesis, you will surely end up in Hell......

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    Please, do not ask where "original" life originated. Obviously it must have existed prior to life itself......the Universe works in mysterious ways......

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    He may not even realise that he is begging the question.
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The thing is, it's not begging the question, just as you yourself have inferred earlier on in this thread.
    Abiogenesis is the process of life from non life, and is the only scientific theory for life...again as I asked James, do you have another scientific theory?
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Write4U:

    Clearly that is not the position I am taking here. I am quite confident that life came from non-life. That doesn't mean I have a theory of how that happened. paddoboy doesn't either, and nor do you. You both just think you do.

    exchemist:

    Probably not.

    paddoboy:

    Begging the question is where you start by assuming what you want to prove.

    In this case, you need to show that there is a theory of abiogenesis. So far, you have done nothing to show the existence of any such theory. But you keep assuming there is one, with no justification. That's begging the question.

    Let me fix that for you:

    "Abiogenesis is the hypothesis that there is a natural process by which life came from non-life. It is not a scientific theory, but speculation informed by existing science."

    Do I have a theory of abiogenesis? No, obvious I don't. You don't. I don't. Nobody does.

    Write4U therefore assumes I think God Did It, or something. I don't. Apart from anything else, I'm an atheist. I don't believe in any gods. I don't know how it happened, yet, so I have no theory.

    It's okay to say you don't know things. Far better than to pretend to know when you don't.
     
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I know what it means James, and I was not begging the question.
    Again you dismiss the logic behind the fact that Abiogenesis is the only scientific theory we have for the emergence of life, and many scientific papers naturally and sensibly assume that, just as the one I gave you which you seemed to have missed at post 33o James...probably many more but I'm really tired of trying to please someone who has a bee in his bonnet. You will also notice from a post I reproduced of our own famous exchemist, in which he does the same thing in assuming [correctly of course] that Abiogensis, sensibly and logically and naturally did take place.
    You have even done it yourself funnily enough.
    Lots of things I don't know James and I don't pretend. OK?
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    There may not yet be a single theory, but there is a hypothesis that allows for several possible (plausible) paths, including multiple separate sites where different forms of abiogenesis may have taken place.

    IMO, there is no "known" requirement that there must be a single path or site which would allow for abiogenesis and without which a general theory of abiogenesis could not be fashioned.

    Hazen
    cites several of such possible "bottlenecks", such as Volcanic environments, Hydro-thermal vents (black and white Smokers), The Deep Earth Water (DEW) model, and Cosmic Clouds via radiation. and which if taken in toto adds up to a convincing argument that abiogenesis may have occurred differently in several different places on earth and in other parts of the universe, which to me sounds not only possible, but more than probable, given the number and general chemistry of planets in the billions of other solar systems.

    Hazen posits that : "Chemical reactions can form bio-molecules in many different environments". If we ignore the irreducible complexity arguments from the faithful, it appears that abiogenesis may well have occurred in many places, an observation that is reinforced by the incredible variety and speciation in living organisms and their disparate environments, just on earth (non-remarkable chemistry) alone.

    Considering the abundance of very different life forms and habitats from extremophiles, to tardigrades, to octopoda, in addition to flora, fish, birds, mammals.

    continues....
     
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    continued.....
    Extremophiles
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4187170/#

    Tardigrades
    https://www.americanscientist.org/article/tardigrades#

    Octopodia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus#Anatomy_and_physiology
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Can you explain what about the observed existence of living things is speculative?
    Unless there is a theory that Life must have evolved from Life, there is not much speculative about the fact that Life exists. Is that not called an axiom?
     

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