Origin of Life

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    Feb 01, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    Not trying to beat yet another religion related thread on people but I thought I'd share a video to answer a common question I see in almost any debate.

    The question as posed by agnostics and theists/deists(quasi agnostics) alike is:

    I accept evolution and all that, but I can't see how life just appeared out of nowhere. Some kind of god of force must or could have created and planned out life.

    Well the answer to that is well we can probably never prove martians didn't seed earth or something. But we CAN provide evidence that life on earth didn't need any sort of divine or alien help to exist. Life can exist without a divine power. And simple answers in this case are probably the best.



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    Feb 01, 2008 5:37 AM GMT
    Trance23 said... I'd share a video to answer a common question I see in almost any debate.

    The question as posed by agnostics and theists/deists alike is:

    I accept evolution and all that, but I can't see how life just appeared out of nowhere. Some kind of god of force must or could have created and planned out life.



    Why would you think that it is a question a deist would ask?

    Deists typically reject supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God does not interfere with human life and the laws of the universe.

    The belief that reason, not faith, leads us to certain basic religious truths is a central constructive element in deist theory as was/is rejection of the biblical account of creation and the doctrine of original sin, along with almost all similar beliefs.

    Most Catholic Theologians today - even the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church state that the Old Testament should not be interpreted literally.

    - Just a few notes from a Christian Deist.

    If you really want to discuss this - feel free to write...





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    Feb 01, 2008 5:49 AM GMT
    Because most people I meet who claim to be a deist still go to church or count themselves as a member of some religious order.

    They reject the version of a deity as their faith describes yet still believe in some unknown power.

    I'll edit the original post to addon to the word.

    The video is mostly directed at the theist members of RJ. I notice there exist a number of members who count themselves as some follower, or even attend church. I have nothing against anyone who feel that way but I find it hard to wonder how people can accept a supernatural claim with no supporting evidence over everything modern science and thought can produce.

    A brief summary as far I can simply put is we can provide evidence that life can form on its own. There need be no intervention. So why do people still hold to traditions?

    I have no answer to that, but I think it's mostly because people just fear the unknown. Rather than accept life as just a moment and try to make the most of it they imagine fairy tales so they can sleep at night. And that opens to door to much of the zealous bigotry and hatred. And the evil that is scientology(If your German)

    Anyways... that's probably deeper than many gay people want to think. I'm guilty here of stereotyping but many people, not just gays would rather overlook this issue. We have all sorts of problems with the hijacked conservative right yet we don't want to talk about the the false ideal. How can you claim a christian who hates gays is wrong if your a christian yourself. What makes your version of the same fable any more accurate.
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    Feb 01, 2008 6:24 AM GMT
    That is an awesome video. Unfortunately, some of the terminology and theories are probably too complex for people with little or no scientific knowledge/exposure to understand.

    . . . . and humans often cling to what they believe is true in the face of overwhelming opposing evidence.
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    Feb 01, 2008 7:08 AM GMT
    This is a great video for the layman. However, I think what you're fighting against is a lack of scientific knowledge in general. The end result of this still just results in a blind faith in science which is also not very good.

    I've had lots of conversations with people who don't really understand evolution or the big bang or even simple things like cloaning...but blindly believe them. I'm not sure if that's all that much better. I don't think there is anything wrong with people believing in "Religion" or and afterlife or the tooth fairy or whatever in order to make themselves feel more 'secure.'

    Awesome video to help educate people though!
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    Feb 01, 2008 7:24 AM GMT
    Thanks for posting this video, it's very interesting. I must admit, I had wondered how that first step started, and I'm glad that there's a sensible explanation!
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    Feb 01, 2008 8:59 AM GMT
    Trance23A brief summary as far I can simply put is we can provide evidence that life can form on its own. There need be no intervention. So why do people still hold to traditions?


    Sadly people will look at it and immediately go in defensive mode. It's wasted on those who've already closed their minds. icon_wink.gif

    Scientology also is nothing but a pathetic grasping at straws by people who're intelligent enough to understand science but too cowardly to let it prove anything beyond what their faith has told them.

    Science itself isn't perfect, neither is religion. But at least Science doesn't pretend to know all the answers.

    I disagree with views that religion is harmless though. I truly believe it's evil. Like taking an untested herbal medicine and saying "there's no harm in believing". Of course there is. Need I enumerate? Jihads, Crusades, the Inquisition, the Conquistadores, the Holocaust, the list goes on...

    It does far more harm than good.

    Religion feeds on human weaknesses - guilt, anger, fear. They encourage those feelings. Reinforce them until you really think you don't deserve to be alive at all. Because then, they know you'll turn to their god.

    We don't need a religion to know what's good. I don't understand why people can't get that. Instead they'll happily spend their lives whispering promises of devotion to a piece of rock just so they can convince themselves of their worth as a good human being.

    Thank you for the video! icon_biggrin.gif I'm downloading it. Sadly, even if it's presented with an almost ridiculously childlike simplicity, I agree with npdxpr that most people still won't get it.
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    Feb 01, 2008 9:23 AM GMT
    Sedative14 saidScience itself isn't perfect, neither is religion. But at least Science doesn't pretend to know all the answers.

    I disagree with views that religion is harmless though. I truly believe it's evil. Like taking an untested herbal medicine and saying "there's no harm in believing". Of course there is. Need I enumerate? Jihads, Crusades, the Inquisition, the Conquistadores, the Holocaust, the list goes on...

    It does far more harm than good.

    Religion feeds on human weaknesses - guilt, anger, fear. They encourage those feelings. Reinforce them until you really think you don't deserve to be alive at all. Because then, they know you'll turn to their god.

    We don't need a religion to know what's good. I don't understand why people can't get that. Instead they'll happily spend their lives whispering promises of devotion to a piece of rock just so they can convince themselves of their worth as a good human being.


    My sentiments exactly.
  • Rowing_Ant

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    Feb 01, 2008 11:13 AM GMT
    Agreed!

    Whilst reading some geek forums - role play games etc - came accross the 'Chick Tracts' which if they were not so so very seirious they'd be humerous but they do show the level of closed mindedness with the US Religious Right.

    Things like Dungeons and Dragons lead to witchcraft and Satanism

    Evolution is wrong; archaeology and palaentology is all lies etc etc. The one they have on Archaeology and the development of Homo Sapiens is laughable - basically its all lies and the Devil or God planted the evidence of human evolution to fool us or as a test of faith or that Homo Sapiens Sapiens are in no way related to the early hominids and as a final clincher that as the earth is only 6,000 years old all the means of archaeological dating are wrong and that there isnt enough time for "evolution" to happen.

    What. The. Fuck?
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    Feb 01, 2008 4:37 PM GMT
    NYMan saidThis is a great video for the layman. However, I think what you're fighting against is a lack of scientific knowledge in general. The end result of this still just results in a blind faith in science which is also not very good.


    I don't think its any knowledge or blind faith we need. Just common sense. We apply the scientific method to everyday life without knowing it. We should do the same with these supernatural fairytales.

    -Are unicorns real?
    -Do invisible monsters exist in my closet?
    -Does god or some deity exist?

    I would ask how any believer can claim one of the above fantasies is real. There are some church goers on RJ. Anyone of you care to share?

    And my other question: How is your version of gay friendly faith any more real than a more conservative gay hating version?
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    Feb 01, 2008 5:29 PM GMT
    That's a very good and easy to understand video.

    I guess I consider myself a humanist and don't believe in any type of divine intervention. And truthfully, it makes me appreciate our world and universe even more. That, through random chemical interactions, an intelligence can emerge that can seeks it's own origin is more miraculous that anything in any holy book or tradition.

    And because of that I see the world as a precious thing that must be protected and cherished.
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    Feb 01, 2008 5:46 PM GMT
    That's a nice set of cartoons, but it's really just a linked series of hypotheses. Science has not yet demonstrated an origin of life. Nor even really agreed on what "life" is. (I've dabbled in that field a bit.) There are other chains of plausible-sounding logic that lead to cellular origins, for example some follow the evolution of central metabolism, rather than information storage. Probably the two had to proceed in parallel. Bits and pieces of these processes have been demonstrated, but nobody has yet been able to demonstrate the origin of a living cell from purely geological phenomena.

    One thing that's very interesting about all this is that the very oldest rocks that we can find have evidence (though sometimes a bit debatable) of life in them. That suggests that life was present on Earth almost as soon as it became cool enough for survival. That means that an origin of life should be very easy - set out the right rocks and water and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. (OK, maybe the experiment would take 20 centuries.) But if so, new life should be starting up all the time. Why don't we see it? The standard answers are a) existing life eats it before we can find it and b) we don't know how to recognize it. But it might be worth looking harder.

    Someone in the back of the room always points out that the evidence is fully consistent with panspermia. It might be worth looking a little harder for life in space. Unfortunately, NASA has recently pulled the plug (again) on most of that kind of research.

    It's kind of ironic that through most of the 19th century, scientists battled against the idea of the spontaneous generation of life . Now their intellectual descendants have come full circle, though with a bit more sophisticated approach.

    Incidentally, there is a nice little conference on origins of life held in alternate Februaries in Ventura Beach. It's a nice break from winter to go argue about this kind of thing in the mornings and get some sun in the afternoons.
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    Feb 04, 2008 10:43 AM GMT
    Yeah. *sigh* Until we can actually do any of these:


    1) Make life. Though it may not be recognizable as such, I'd assume the earliest 'living things' would look more like strange chemicals than any recognizable microorganism, hehe. I remember an experiment where they created self-replicating molecules once... is that the one mentioned in the video? And if someone did manage to make something, how would he recognize it?

    2) Find evidence of new life forming around us. Though the conditions has certainly changed and that might not be possible anymore

    3) Find evidence of extraterrestrial life. Reminds me of Micheal Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain" and Dan Brown's "Deception Point", LOL. One thing I remember too is the news about astronomers finding complex organic molecules in nebulae. Certainly interesting considering that the solar system started off as a cloud of debris too. Now if only someone could just spare the time to find evidence of life that can exist in vacuum, NASA has been totally disappointing these past decades.

    4) Find evidence of extrasolar life. The whole aliens seeding the earth thing. I consider this a bit more implausible LOL. But yeah, we never know! icon_razz.gif Plus aren't there still bodies that traverse deep space that get caught in the Sun's gravity? Pluto/Charon for instance. It might be possible for life to have piggybacked on em and arrived here. icon_razz.gif Kinda stretching it, I know.


    And even if the origin of terrestrial life IS panspermia, that would still require a premise of spontaneous generation. icon_razz.gif After all, where did extraterrestrial life came from then?

    As for the urm... raison d'etre... it's my first time hearing about basing it on central metabolism. :S I too would think maybe it developed parallel with information-perpetuation and then somewhere they learned to work together. After all, isn't there evidence that the cell itself probably started off as a mishmash of symbiotic/commensal relationships of smaller ...er... cell components? The mitochondria and chlorophyll for example. Though viruses are an oddity.

    (Hey... off-topic, I wonder which came first... viruses or 'true' life? :S I have a suspicion viruses are either degenerated early bacteria or rebel DNA chains LOL)

    Everything is still just supposition. icon_razz.gif But at least we all agree SUPERstition is out of the equation.

    (Please pardon inaccuracies, LOL, it's been years since I last read about this kind of topics. I was an amateur fossil collector back in high school)

    P.S. Has anyone seen Tom Cruise's interview on Scientology? Did anyone get what he was going on about at all? LOL If I hadn't read the title I'd have thought he was talking about some secret organization of superheroes battling an insidious alien invasion. LOL

    P.P.S. Trance23 I just noticed something weird:

    Trance23
    Sedative14

    icon_eek.gif Are we both escapists? LOL
  • GQjock

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    Feb 04, 2008 11:04 AM GMT
    The origin of life has been studied here on earth
    All of it is conjecture because no one was there to witness the event but given a soup of carboniferous compounds .... and if those compounds are bombarded with electrical charges and high heat
    Such as was the environment on the early earth
    you come up with complex sometimes self-reproducing chemicals such as proteins and nucleic acids
    Now the unreproducible part... they think cells were merely these chemicals bound up in the waves of the surf that happened over millions of years
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    Feb 04, 2008 1:50 PM GMT
    I dunno... that bearded dude in the sky making tinkly sounds is pretty damn convincing...
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    Feb 04, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    What is the difference between life coming out of nowhere and god forming life? To me, a god creating life is "life coming out of nowhere".
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    Feb 04, 2008 5:24 PM GMT
    The question i allways ask to people that keep saying that life on earth is so complex "it couldn't be just coïnsedence" is this one: If life on earth is so complex it never just could aquire..... Then the "greater thing" that made it must be much more complex...... I think you all agree on that one. That raises the question where that "greater force" came from.... Some will say it was there allways, we can say that for the possibillties on earth the same way and as they would be less complex, that is the logic way to think about it.


    If there was a "greater power" needed because we couldn't exist without it, there should be a "more greater power"to make the existence of the later "greater power "possible".....In Holland we call that "de Droste effect"(named after a commercial in the early years, there is a woman that holds a cookyjar, with on that cookyjar a pic of herself with that cookyjar and so on....) We are the greater power, every livin been on this planet. Together we make(our destroy it)

    We are our own gods, well at least i am icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 04, 2008 8:06 PM GMT
    Since you are posting about religion opposed to science you might want to watch an interesting video that also has to do with the corrupting influence of people in power that use religion as a tool to control us. It is almost 2 hours long so pick a time when you can sit back and relax. It is entertaining as well as being very informative.

    http://zeitgeistmovie.com/

    Also, although I am an agnostic when it comes to religion I like to keep an open mind in my thinking about a god force. What Japultra says about a possible god force is as worthy as the ideas expounded in the above video. If there were a god force that created this world it would have created it with all the physical laws that we have discovered. There is no way to prove its existence or on the other hand to disprove it. The idea that there must have been a god force that created the god force and so on to disprove the concept of god cannot be valid because this argument proposes that god is a physical force. However, the concept of a god force relies upon god existing before the Big Bang and therefore it existed before time.
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    Feb 04, 2008 8:57 PM GMT
    "The idea that there must have been a god force that created the god force and so on to disprove the concept of god cannot be valid because this argument proposes that god is a physical force"... No, why should it? I never stated "the greater power" as something physical.... I just stated if there is a "greater power" that "must" exist to create us... There must have been a greater power that created "it"....

    I didn't mentioned anything physical about that, i just said that every living being is imo his/her/it's own god.... Because that is the only logical explanation in "the believers" own way.... Believe in something bigger that is more complex and bigger that is even more complex... or .... and so on , or accept youre own godness and make the best of this world, just from youreself.....

    I plead to find the "godness" in youreself, it's youre life, youre world, deal with it... Don't shove it of on "some godness".... Youre Life, youre world
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    Feb 04, 2008 9:24 PM GMT
    GQJock refers to the Miller-Urey experiment from the 1950's. While it was very cool, we have come a long way in 60 years. Everyone now agrees that it's not relevant to the Earth. For example, we now know that the atmosphere never looked like that. (BTW: Stanley Miller just passed away last summer. There are many conferences being held in his honor. I was once able to pour a bottle of wine into him and another senior member and sit back for an evening of really great stories.) Also BTW: There is an extremely cool simple protocol for repeating the Miller-Urey experiment floating around on the net - you seal some reagents in a glass ampoule with a piece of tungsten wire, then toss it into the microwave and let it spark away. Instant Primordial Soup, anyone?

    Most modern work involves catalysis on mineral surfaces under hydrothermal conditions.

    Sedative, there has been a considerable amount of work on the survival of microbes in space. Most of it has been done by Gerda Horneck from Germany, but NASA has done a couple of similar experiments.

    One of the main proponents of "metabolism first" theories is Günter Wächtershäuser, who has written a series of elegant papers on (purely theoretical) hypothetical pathways to life. In the last decade or so a lot of younger people have been doing some experimental tests of these hypotheses. I've found some support for one of them myself.

    Anyway, much of this sort of thing gets done by people who belong to the International Society for the Study of the Origins of Life. Though in the 90's, there was a spurt of activity at NASA under the new buzzword "astrobiology."

    Http://www.issol.org
    http://www.astrobiology.com
    http://astrobiology.arc.nasa.gov/
    http://www.astrobio.net/news/article1858.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnter_W%C3%A4chtersh%C3%A4user
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-sulfur_world_theory
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    Feb 05, 2008 2:10 PM GMT

    I like how this film started, painting don't paint itself because the painting chemicals don't self replicate.

    I think it's challenging the whole canning industry. cause each can is already filled with nucleotide, with all essential chemicals and amino acids needed to self duplicate. best of all, it is in a perfect condition then the harsh primordials earth. What's lacking now, is magical words of "million of years" for life to come out of those cans.

    If our current environment, which is perfect for life to thrive, does not produce more new life as we observe, then the previous environment, which we can not survive, must be perfect for life? some contradiction is going on here, and it's no less then "god create".
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    Feb 05, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    On the contrary new life is being discovered all the time Ebl. New species of plants and insects are found all the time in the rain forest and other zones that foster huge amounts of life. The video does not claim absolute proof, but it does connect a few dots. Fact of the matter is we have shown that chemicals can combine, join into chains, and replicate. Those are basic function our cells have.

    At that point we can guess over billions of years they joined with various other chemicals, and over time changed and became more complex, adapting to a changing world and over more time became the basic life forms.

    Or we can guess some mysterious force we can't see or measure made it all happen.

    So then we have a question: If we can provide a perfectly good and possible workable natural explanation why do people still believe in the supernatural one? Any proof god sprinkled fairy dust and made the world?
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    Feb 05, 2008 3:05 PM GMT
    ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - the core gear of life, as is )

    well, the question is: who on earth were concerned with succesful results?

    p.s. http://biologyinmotion.com/atp/index.html
    icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 05, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    I think for critical thinking believers, it is less about how it all began and more about trying to encompass the world in meaningful ways. The emerging church movement is based around trying to understand the Christian message in light of the post-modern movement. It has very little to do with the origin of it all. Any good and critical theologian will necessarily tell you that the natural theology has superseded the revealed theology of the Bible on the beginnings of "it all." If a Christian denies an old earth and evolution, he makes himself into the laughing stock of the world.

    The simple truth is that science can tell us about the world as we experience, but it never gets us closer to formulate meaning from such empirical examinations. Anytime you move beyond materialism, and you do it when you realize self from non-self in my opinion, you dabble in the world of religion. Many people simply believe they are being drawn to a greater understanding of things together rather than as individuals. Reverence for a story or mythos may seem impractical, but it is better than the self-denial and harsh asceticism caused by materialism.
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    Feb 05, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    Thygros, I was referring to your statement “If there was a "greater power" needed because we couldn't exist without it, there should be a "more greater power"to make the existence of the later "greater power "possible". I did not mean to suggest that you were saying that god force would be physical. That concept of physicality is one that I have heard of in relation to this argument and it seems logical because you are saying that there must be a force that created the force, ad infinitum. That idea seems to me to be transference from what we know of life on the physical plane. But then, as I have already pointed out, if there is a god force that created the universe, that god force existed before time, time being started at the Big Bang. The physical laws of the universe would not apply.

    Frankly, I think that, if there is a god force, that spiritual force was passed along with the Big Bang and some of it lies in all things physical. That is similar to your idea of, “youre own goodness”, so I think we are on the same page here. At any rate, I would never try to push this or any other belief in some spirit on to anyone. It is up to individuals to come to their own conclusions about something that is so personal. This is why I am agnostic. I have not a clue as to what is the truth. Then there is the idea of existentialism, where everyone is right and true in their own thoughts. A mystery, to be sure, but one that can only be discussed but never found.