What is the case against Evolution?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Seattle, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Not just Darwin - modern evolutionary biologists acknowledge the gap between (current) Darwinian evolution and abiogenesis.

    Not that there isn't crossover, just that they're distinct.

    Agree.

    My specific comment about Darwinian evolution was to counter the following claim:
    Darwinian evolution pointedly does not apply to pre-life. Additionally - as you mention - pre-life chemistry didn't have the ability to self-replicate.

    I certainly agree that principles garnered from Darwinian evolution might be applied to abiogenesis - but we have to be very careful there, lest we anthropomorphize (actually, I guess it would be biomorphize) those processes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    What happened there? You are quoting Yazata but it thinks you are quoting me.

    Not that I object to the sentiments attributed to me in this case.....
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    What are you talking about? Are your meds being kept in a cool, dry place?

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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Huh? Now it is correct! I swear when I made that post the 2nd box had exchemist in the grey bar not Yazata. Oh well, all's well that ends well.
     
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  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That's where we differ, I think. I think that natural selection can apply to anything that self-replicates. It needn't be alive.

    I wouldn't locate the appearance of life at the appearance of self-replicators. I'm more inclined to consider them prebiotic chemistry.

    The problem here is defining the word 'life' I guess, understanding what that concept means. I'm most inclined to define life with cellular biology, with what simple bacterial/archean cells do, the whole suite of functions that they share in common.

    That's part of why I don't really consider a simple chemical self-replicator like a short nucleic acid strand to be life in the proper sense. It might be pre-life, proto-life or quasi-life, or something like that.

    This isn't just a problem for the philosophy of biology. It's a problem that's going to confront exobiology, if we ever find ourselves in position to encounter extraterrestrial life analogues. How will be even recognize that what we are seeing is life? Where is the dividing line between 'living' and 'non-living'?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you.
    Really, where do spherical bubbles come from? Where does any spherical object come from? Self-assembly?
    Yep, with a little help from a magnetic field.
    Oh. it's a cell alright, it's just not a living cell. That comes later when stuff gets into the cell.
    They try to be. They have an unbroken continuous spherical exterior surface, no?

    The sphere is the strongest hollow pattern possible. Natural selection figured this out in millions of ways, billions of years ago.

    The living cell is an evolved pattern from the right bio-chemicals which combined into a dynamic "protective" envelope.
    Note; just 4 molecules + energy .
    Darwin!
    https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/an-evolutionary-perspective-on-amino-acids-14568445

    Whatever humans can come up with in building structures, nature most likely has already been there and tried that. Humans use balls and baubles, nature used balls and baubles from the very beginning.

    Natura Artis Magistra (Nature is the Teacher of Art (and Science).

    If you see this a simplistic, it is because at this origination stage everything was simplistic. Nothing was complex yet, that came later, with abiogenesis things became complicated, but even here the incredible variety of patterns and biological expressions supports the notion that given sufficient time and space, the variety and complexity of expression may well reach near infinity. But not in the beginning. In the beginning everything is simple. Occam.

    The most abundant first element was Hydrogen and guess what, all living things have hydrogen in common, from all the way back to the early universe. Same as Carbon.

    Biology on earth is the product of 13+ billion years of evolutionary universal chemistry, culminating in Earth's astounding biological variety.

    Did you know that organic molecules are created by radiation in cosmic clouds. Ask Louis Allamandola
    1. https://www.journals.elsevier.com/molecular-astrophysics/editorial-board/louis-allamandola
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hee hee.
    :devil:
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't disagree with that.
    No reason why natural selection can't be applied to non-life evolution. Though I think we should take pains not to confuse natural selection in cosmological evolution with natural selection in Darwinian evolution.

    Nor would I. I was constraining it the other way: it can't be life because they aren't even self-replicating yet. that doesn't mean that, as soon as they can self-replicate, they are life.

    Life has a number of criteria, self-replication is only one. To-wit:

    I do believe that cellular containment is actually one of the criteria for the definition of life, yes.

    Certainly true.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Depending on where you look, here are the criteria that distinguish life from non-life:

    • responsiveness to the environment;
    • growth and change;
    • ability to reproduce;
    • have a metabolism and breathe;
    • maintain homeostasis;
    • being made of cells;
    • passing traits onto offspring.
    - Google
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But are there organisms, which only have some of the traits? Those organisms would the bridging mechanism for abiogenesis, no?

    What is a virus,.... dead or alive,.... a little alive,.... in the neighborhood of liveliness?....

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if it is missing some of those traits, then by definition it would not be life.

    Examples?

    The most obvious one is viruses, but - not only are they are not considered life - but they cannot be a bridge from non-life to life, since they can only exist side-by-side with life (after all, they're DNA fragments).
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Mark Turner might not be the only one imagining things.

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  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    (I edited it. Don't tell Ex.

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    )
     
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  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Haha...it will be our little secret. I had suspected as much. Sssssh, be quiet, I think he's coming now...
     
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  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Would humans be alive without the support of symbiotic bacteria?
    I had hoped for some contribution here.
    I agree. They are not (yet) alive and they lead a parasitic existence totally dependent on the host.

    But they are almost alive and can make copies of themselves.
    . "The goal of the virus is to replicate itself," notes Altan-Bonnet.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100528210736.htm

    And is that not a positive sign of life? Motivation?

    IMO, it should be included in the list of *criteria*.

    That would also solve the problem of "motivated creation", things tend to become self-motivated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Bacteria meet the criteria. Why are we talaking about bacteria?


    Sorry.

    You wrote "But are there organisms..."
    I read "But there are organisms..."

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    No. "Motivation" is an anthropomorphism; something I've been trying to get recognized as a risk in productive discussion.

    Biologically, "motivation" is a sloppy, scientifically-ambiguous term, kind of like "satisfaction" is, in the phrase "...the direction of greatest satisfaction".

    The idea behind science is to be precise, and to peel away the bad metaphors and magical thinking that is inevitably attached to such words.
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Without them would humans qualify as living when we cannot exist without the help of other biological organisms? We really do not meet all the criteria for life without them. Nor does the virus.
    Why? Ok, got it......

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    I agree in general.
    It depends on if you view the definition from an objective POV. There is subjective intrinsic motivation and objective extrinsic motivation, the latter may well be a deterministic causality.

    I am thinking of the law of "necessity and sufficiency" which IMO, produces "motivation".
    This "need" can originate from several causalities.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation#Extrinsic_motivation

    I realize the common use of the term motivation as applicable to sentient organisms. But even a fundamental biological organism can be highly motivated when in need of energy.
    A brainless, single celled slime mold exhibits extremely motivated behaviors when in "need' of a new food source, including "learned" response behaviors. In those contexts we use the expression "external stimulus".
    You would not object to the scientific term "stimulus" as a form of extrinsic motivation?

    In the end it comes down to the fact that the universe is a dynamically evolving object. Everything within it is energetically "motivated" by the deterministic chronology of events.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There is nothing in the definition of life that prohibits dependency on other biological organisms.
    In fact, virtually all animals are dependent on the help of other biological organisms: the others must die so the animal doesn't starve.

    Yes, let's do that.

    I am unaware of any such "law". Perhaps you misspoke?

    Slime molds eat and breathe.

    The criteria list is not a list of all things life might do; it is a list of the minimum things it must do to be considered living.

    What you are calling "motivation" is already covered by the other criteria. It is superfluous.
     
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  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    No, it's a law of Logic in a Dynamical Universe
    This logic allows for the concepts of universal elementary potentials, mathematical values and functions, such as self-assembly, self-organization, abiogenesis, multiple places of origin, Mineralogy.

    The abundance of biological resources derived from mineral resources on earth was sufficient to fill a potential need for organic life. That human and all other life is spectactularly abundant is proof of the hypothesis. Is there another?

    IMO, the complexity does not lie in the number of necessary patterns which are sufficient, but in the incredible number of simple repetitions which form the complexity.

    Evolution (all versions) belongs to the mathematical exponential family of universal functions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I'm quite aware of the common use of the terms in logic.
    Just never as a law. And not in science.

    :facepalm:
    Just when I thought we were having a nice conversation...
     
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