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Scientists make first step towards bringing life to inorganic matter

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September 15, 2011

The iCHELLs created by a team from the University of Glasgow could be the first step on th...

The iCHELLs created by a team from the University of Glasgow could be the first step on the road towards creating 'inorganic life' (Image: University of Glasgow)

All life on Earth is carbon-based, which has led to the widespread assumption that any other life that may exist in the universe would also be carbon-based. Excluding the possibility of elements other than carbon forming the basis of life is often referred to as carbon chauvinism and researchers at the University of Glasgow are looking to overcome this bias and provide new insights into evolution by attempting to create "life" from carbon-free, inorganic chemicals. They've now taken the first tentative steps towards this goal with the creation of inorganic-chemical-cells, or iCHELLS.

Just like biological cells, the cells created by Professor Lee Cronin, Gardiner Chair of Chemistry in the College of Science and Engineering, allow several chemical processes to be isolated within them. They can be compartmentalized by creating internal membranes that control the passage of materials and energy through them. The researchers say the cells, which can also store electricity, could potentially be used in all sorts of applications, such as sensors or to confine chemical reactions.

However, the ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate that inorganic chemical compounds are capable of self-replicating and evolving, just like organic, biological carbon-based cells.

Prof Cronin says the current theory of evolution is really a special theory of evolution because it only applies only to organic biology. He says that if he and his team are successful in creating life from inorganic matter, it could lead to a general theory of evolution.

"The grand aim is to construct complex chemical cells with life-like properties that could help us understand how life emerged and also to use this approach to define a new technology based upon evolution in the material world - a kind of inorganic living technology," said Prof Cronin. "If successful this would give us some incredible insights into evolution and show that it's not just a biological process. It would also mean that we would have proven that non carbon-based life could exist and totally redefine our ideas of design."

Prof Cronin gave a talk at TED Global earlier this year in Edinburgh where he said that if his team is successful in creating life while taking carbon out of the equation, it might reveal what other elements might be capable of producing life elsewhere in the universe and provide NASA with a better idea of what to look for in the search for extraterrestrial life.

The University of Glasgow team's paper "Modular Redox-Active Inorganic Chemical Cells: iCHELLs' is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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69 Comments

Let me just say I hope they aren't funded by my taxes and ...........good luck!

IF evolution is true and IF it took millions (if not billions of years) then these guys must surely be gamblers. Better odds by far putting the money into satellites to look at more places in space for other life forms, or for that matter, buying a lotto ticket! Better returns and better odds by a massive (some would say infinate) magnitude.

Australian
16th September, 2011 @ 01:21 am PDT

@Australian - lolwut

Back on planet earth; Wow this is looking good, looks like biological engineering is a future possibility game changer, maybe this century.

Adam Dixon
16th September, 2011 @ 04:49 am PDT

I'd agree we generally only apply the theory of evolution to what we see (i.e. carbon-based life), but I wouldn't say say the theory of evolution is carbon-specific. It already is a general theory.

And, Australian, they've clearly made a huge amount amount of progress already. I wouldn't be so certain. Your god of the gaps shrinks ever further ;-)

Brit
16th September, 2011 @ 05:23 am PDT

I don't see how even in the success of this so called creation of life can prove abiogenesis to be possible.

http://groups.google.com/group/sci.skeptic/msg/c959e739f100f825?pli=1

whuang86
16th September, 2011 @ 07:55 am PDT

One step closer to the Zombie apocalypse!

Brandy Kroll
16th September, 2011 @ 09:09 am PDT

Is that why the bible claims that Adam is made from dirt. Perhaps he will be silicon based life form.

Also, A crop circle implies silicon based humanoids exists.

Stewart Mitchell
16th September, 2011 @ 09:14 am PDT

If they are successful in this project, they will have proved that it didn't take intelligence to create life (lol sarcastically).

Guero
16th September, 2011 @ 10:56 am PDT

Whuang86, if it's the creation of life from inorganic matter, then what is left to prove? It's certainly possible if it is in fact DONE.

But then, the last person I discussed this with dismissed abiogenesis because he'd "never seen rocks get up and start walking around". I rebutted that I'd never seen Eden on Google Earth. :-)

This is incredibly fascinating research, and in some ways overdue.

alcalde
16th September, 2011 @ 11:07 am PDT

Lol we are going to invest countless man hours purposefully creating a non self replicating model of a cell, using the real self replicating organisms as a model by design. After doing this we will be justified in concluding life arose spontaneously by chance from inatimate matter by some random process.

Does this prove that humans are injection molded because mannequins are? Sad the utter lack of logic employed is too often uncritically accepted but then again they will become vain in their imaginations was foretold. Miller and Urey surely will be enthused.

Jim Bowman
16th September, 2011 @ 11:28 am PDT

The Australian makes me laugh (and cringe). It's not really and IF and it's a more credible idea than the concept of the big imaginary being in the sky with the pearly gates - or any other bedtime story (depends on your religion I suppose).

Humans exploring their world and pushing the boundaries of their knowledge, now that's more interesting than dreaming up faery stories to scare the little children isn't it?

m0thman
16th September, 2011 @ 01:57 pm PDT

"All life on Earth is carbon-based"

http://www.gizmag.com/nasa-discovers-new-bacteria/17147/

Forget your own articles?

Elezar Kenig
16th September, 2011 @ 02:15 pm PDT

@australian Also, what does evolution have to do with it. If they can succeed, who care if it evolution is true or not.

Elezar Kenig
16th September, 2011 @ 02:17 pm PDT

@Stewart Mitchell

Firstly, it says that Adam was formed from the dust of the earth.

Silicon is a metal, and element.. not dust of the earth..

Second, It also says "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" and after a human body finishes decomposition (Fresh, Bloat, Active Decay, Advanced Decay, Dry/Remains), the body essentially turns into dust, and become a part of the earth. Leaving a skeleton to decompose if the dirt is acidic.. or stay preserved if the dirt isn't acidic enough and has calcium in it.

And lastly.. what the heck does a crop circle have to prove that it was made by silicon based life?

Micah James Houchin
16th September, 2011 @ 02:40 pm PDT

alcalde wow, really, its been done? care to share?

whuang86
16th September, 2011 @ 03:04 pm PDT

Even if a complex cell could be made (which is impossible) there still remains the problem of "life." It would be a useless death cell. I've always believed that if life could start by accident then surely it could be started with intention. And if you cannot start it then it surely didn't come about by accident! So far - futile attempts HAVE proven evolution to be no more than a false religion filled with devoted followers.

donwine
16th September, 2011 @ 03:24 pm PDT

I can see this is a controversial subject.

For what it's worth (or not worth) I do subscribe to the big bang theory. I do believe in an all powerful "God" that was the instigator and creator of the big bang. I do not (obviously) believe in macro evolution. Why do we not see the "transition" of an intermediate species? Surely if macro evolution was true there would be some life form with clear links to another life form yet having distinct, reproducible changes that lead to a new classification. All observable within the scope of recent history. The argument it takes millions of years makes no sense because either there is change or there isn't.

I welcome the science to prove me wrong. I do not know everything - or even much yet while even evolution remains a theory, it seems this research is building a theory on a theory. I struggle to see how such intelligent scientific minds fail to see this logic.

My point is I personally think their pursuit is futile thus I would prefer to see the resources used to find cures for diseases, renewable energy, improving food and water security.

Australian
16th September, 2011 @ 04:59 pm PDT

@Elezar Kenig

The bacteria detailed in that story is still carbon-based but is able to substitute arsenic for phosphorous in some of its basic biochemistry.

editor
16th September, 2011 @ 05:59 pm PDT

Mindless accidental life coming from who knows what and evolving into higher forms only because of needs cannot explain the purpose or why these things are for a fact present: Color, beauty, enjoyment, laughter, a need to worship, morals, sounds, music, intelligence, knowledge, understanding, the ability to think, emotion, anger, love, procreation, memory, writing, language, racial hatred, conscience, ingenuity, a since of time, flowers, variety and even desire. Life could exist without nearly all of these. So why do they exist? Where did they come from? And most important - which ones are man made?

donwine
16th September, 2011 @ 06:11 pm PDT

I saw the TED talk. This line of thought is really interesting- the carbon chauvinism must stop! We need to look with openness to the combination of chemistry that is not surrounding us now.

Carlos Grados
16th September, 2011 @ 06:49 pm PDT

@Australian, did you miss your fruit-fly labs in class? Quick genetic mutation...potential for evolution...see http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/3/492.full for some real science. Science has proven you wrong. Repeated tiny micro changes of millions of years = macro change. Does Micah James Houchin's Manual of Earth Creation mention the Big Bang or even micro-evolution?

@Micah James Houchin, it says, really? That's your argument. It says. Well, I'm sold.

@donwine, your completely circular argument is as convincing as Micah's. I'm sold. BTW, it's way funnier if you say 'All attempts at resistance are futile' or 'All your bases are belong to us' when you make crackpot assertions.

Back to the science of this science site, does an in-organic cell really need to replicate itself to be 'alive'? That implies imposes restrictions of organic life on the in-organic. I think self-sustaining would be all that is required. If in-organic life can be created that meets the standard of organic except for carbon-base, then that's not in-organic life, but non-carbon-based organic life - and that probably really is there point.

houstonrahoyt
16th September, 2011 @ 09:13 pm PDT

"It's Life, Jim, but not as we know it!" - Bones

Jeremy Nasmith
17th September, 2011 @ 12:06 am PDT

@ hustonrahoyt. When it comes down to it, evolution theory of the origin of first life still takes way too much faith. Much more then believing in a creator.

It's illogical, practically, and mathematically to continue down that path, anybody that has a real background in the study of biology, especially those in the medical field will know its simply way too complicated for life, ie (cells capable of reproducing and surviving) to just come from a ocean of lifeless goo.

Its plain to the eye if you actually study biology to know as much as you do that a watch or car was created by an intelligent being.

whuang86
17th September, 2011 @ 01:04 am PDT

Here is a way to test your theories: The largest living single cell is the ostrich egg. You don't have make it - there is your cell. Now freeze it then thaw it out. Let's see you breath life back into it! Do that and I will firmly believe anything you tell me.

donwine
17th September, 2011 @ 07:29 am PDT

a lot of the 'advances' which 'happen',according to proponents of gradualism,don't seem to be of sufficient degree(the 'transition' of scales to 'perfectly engineered for flight' feathers in bird 'evolution',for example)to confer that first 'advantage' . .and would be expected to be again subsumed into the gene pool and effectively snuffed out . .it's never fully convinced me as a model . .

Neil Morrall
17th September, 2011 @ 07:57 am PDT

Australian, FWIW - we see eye to eye....

James Dugan
17th September, 2011 @ 11:51 am PDT

Australian, I agree with ya brother, that's why it's called the Theory of Evolution and not the Law of Evolution. Also what ever Man has a mind to do Mankind can accomplish, the trouble is though that mankind is incapable of comming to any agreement to better himself or save his haitat because he is inherently divisive and self glorifying. As a result Man (we) if left to our own devices will perish sooner rather than later.

John Sorg
17th September, 2011 @ 07:29 pm PDT

OK, let me start with saying that no one here knows EVERYTHING so of course some of us are going to leave holes in their arguments. Then let me state, that most people who argue that evolution is impossible because living things are way too complex to be anything but intelligent design fail to grasp the just how long a billion years is, and just how many living things exist at any given time. After let's say after 100 years, the human race alone has well over 6,000,000,000,000 chances to change something in a way that works, and allows those with those changes to reproduce more than their peers, and pass on those changes. In a billion years, at our current population, we would have 6,000,000,000,000,000,000 chances to evolve...

That is a huuuuge number! Every little thing change that gives a living thing the most miniscule advantage gets piled on top of one another so many times, the human mind has a hard time grasping it all at once. And that's just with humans. Imagine all the species on earth! Especially with single celled creatures who reproduce several times a second... that, my fellow thinking beings, is an impossible number. On the same scale as there are stars and planets in the universe.

You may argue then, that it doesn't matter how many changes can be made, not when something like the human eye exists! Something so complex that it stops working when one thing is out of place! Ha! I got you there!

Not yet you don't. Take just a single photoreceptor, it's just a little bit of something that can tell when more light hits it. That alone gives an organism an advantage over other organisms that don't have that. Then, the tissue over the photorecpetor becomes more translucent, now the organism can see brightness a bit better. Now put a bit of fluid between the receptor and the translucent skin, now the organism can see a bit clearer. Change the skin to something a bit tougher, and more translucent, add a few muscles that can change the shape and direction that the organ is pointed in. Voila! You have a simplified version of a plausible chain of organic changes (evolutions) that likely could lead to our eyes today.

Noah Merle
17th September, 2011 @ 10:33 pm PDT

@houstonrahoyt

I could be entirely wrong but I have difficulty accepting that with the information you provided. A number of cursory searches can refute the link you posted and it's associated arguments. There is no evidence tabled (at least none that has received wide acclaim - which it would, if it was genuine and existed) that can prove the addition of new genetic material caused an evolution of a species. We do observe genetic data being removed and subsequent propagation. The fruitfly experiment does not provide any evidence of new genetic information, only re-sorting or loss of exisitng information.

So, that said I'm honestly not interested in trying to wage a battle - you are probably far better versed in the science. I really don't expect either of our positions to change but appreciate the interaction. Many Christians have poor arguments for rejecting evolution however that's not to say there are not good reasons.

The bigger question still remains - what (or whom) created the big bang, where time itself began?

Australian
18th September, 2011 @ 03:04 am PDT

@whuang86:

"When it comes down to it, evolution theory of the origin of first life still takes way too much faith."

And even if the theory of evolution had anything to do with the origin of life, you STILL wouldn't have a point. Honestly, the level of ignorance here about subjects you're attempting to debate shown by you and your fellow religionists/creationists is staggering. Why don't you take the time to learn a little about what you're arguing about and avoid sounding like a fool?

"...anybody that has a real background in the study of biology [not you, apparently], especially those in the medical field will know its simply way too complicated for life, ie (cells capable of reproducing and surviving) to just come from a ocean of lifeless goo."

Welcome to the argument from ignorance. Of course we could just give up scientific and say goditit, but that's not really the way human kind has made any progress in the last 2000 years or so.

"Its plain to the eye if you actually study biology to know as much as you do that a watch or car was created by an intelligent being"

Too bad for you the "intelligent design" school of creationism has been debunked repeatedly in all its incarnations ever since Paley first came up with it. Go on, I dare you to cite the bacterial flagellum as your proof! Sheesh.

Pete Cockerell
18th September, 2011 @ 05:44 pm PDT

Perhaps life didn't start out as carbon at all. Perhaps the first cells were something else and that carbon was merely a component required after the fact. Perhaps carbon was needed as a building block to build up and sustain life? Like coral, it needs calcium and lime to build a reef, but the organism itself isn't made or based on either calcium or lime.

Terry Penrose
18th September, 2011 @ 07:13 pm PDT

So far Evolution hasn't been able to explain how life began (Inorganic to organic) but merely how it evolved AFTER creation. Perhaps the two ideas could coexist if intelligent design could come up with more answers than simply 'God did it'. Man is way too inquisitive to simply settle for that.

Terry Penrose
18th September, 2011 @ 07:25 pm PDT

Noah - Are sure the number is not 6,274,657,396,983. If I took all the parts to make a car and put them into a tumbler - How many years will it take to get a fine brand new automobile? Or should I play it safe and just get a good mechanic to put them together? One cell is more complicated than any car!

donwine
18th September, 2011 @ 08:20 pm PDT

It never ceases to amaze how creationists in the 21st century poor scorn on evolution without even taking the time to understand the most basic aspects of the theory (yes, just like gravity it is what science refers to as a theory - so is gravity ... guess which one we understand the best?).

Donwine raises yet again the tired old "tornado in a junkyard" false analogy. I am assuming he(?) is just ignorant, and not simply dishonest like the perpetrators of the dreadful "Answers in Genesis" site but before you next trot out this rubbish please, take five minutes to educate yourself before you embarrass yourself any further.

I must admit I was amused by Australian's idea of how the research money could be better spent "to find cures for diseases". Wow. And just how is that going to happen without the most elementary grasp of biology ... pray (pun intended) tell?

Reason
19th September, 2011 @ 01:31 am PDT

@ Donwine, Thnks for the response! You just said that one cell is more complicated than any car, and that fact alone is why putting them into a "tumbler" is actually something that will work, because when a part is changed in a way that is disadvantageous it dissapears, or dies out. When a bit of a car get's a cog worn out, it doesn't get replaced in the tumbler, but with living things, that can happen. Oh and yeah, it is that other number, I rounded it down to make it easier.

Noah Merle
19th September, 2011 @ 06:35 am PDT

Noah - Adding more numbers does not make it more believable. The whole premise of evolution is that is only happened once upon a time and not time after time because as you say - "it dies." I referred to only one cell. Take all the components of that one cell and put them into blender of your making and you still have the problem - who made the blender? Some of the parts have never been seen like the DNA so how and where are you going to even get the parts? I think you should check with the parts maker! Maybe he will show you how to start life!

donwine
19th September, 2011 @ 08:16 am PDT

@donwine - If you are not apposed to exposing yourself to detailed study of PROBABLE ways for abiogenesis to have occurred, please investigate "Vital Dust" by Christian de Duve. Another book that is worthy of keen, skeptical inquiry is Lee Smolin's "The Life of the Cosmos". (See Amazon.com for both.)

You are making a lot of assumptions about how the universe came to be as it is. You are using the Anthropic Principle:

Anthropic Principle: We are complex, and we exist in a complex universe which accommodates us perfectly; therefore, the universe was created/designed with the complexity of the universe and of human life specifically in mind.

You are using this principle as a way of declaring abiogenesis as impossible and illogical. Remember: "Improbable" does not mean "impossible". Though something may be EXTREMELY improbable to occur, it does not mean that it is impossible to occur and, therefore, will not occur.

The Anthropic Principle, upon first observation, IS the logical conclusion. However, as is often the case, upon further investigation, we find that our first logical conclusion is seldom ever the lasting conclusion.

It used to be that man would look up at the stars and considered them eternal lights in heaven. This gave way to thinking of them as stars, as eternal as our sun, but on concentric circles around... the Earth. That notion, too, eventually gave way to the idea of the Earth NOT being the center and, instead, heliocentrism was the order of the day. Eventually still came the notion that suns/stars were NOT eternal, but were formed born from gravity's effects on gas and dust which caused them to coalesce and compact to such great densities, heat and pressures that eventually caused the newly formed star to ignite in high-density nuclear fusion.

Now, none of that process for any star was particular "planned", nor were any of the various ways in which the amounts of gas and dust determine the phases of life, and death/transformation of any star. On this matter, the proof that we have is the observations from our many different kinds of telescopes. To say that stars were "created" in light of what we have EVENTUALLY discovered is illogical. It is even illogical to state that there was a "plan" that let to any particular star's formulation and life course.

Because a star is 100% the reason for the existence of a planet and, therefore, any life that it can support, to say that any given life on a planet was "created" or had a predetermined "plan" is illogical.

All that we currently know for sure is that from the universe's origins came an "evolving" thing we call physics. Yes, "evolving" because as they universe expanded and cooled, new elements were formed thus modifying (evolving) the physics. In fact, new elements are forged in the furnaces of stars. These new star-born elements help evolve the physics of the universe as well by generating new interactions, new possibilities and new probabilities.

You must considered that on the evolving (changing) primordial, prebiotic Earth, there was not one experiment going on for several hundred million years, there were quadrillions upon quadrillions upon quadrillions of experiments happening EVERY MICROSECOND for several hundred million years all over the face of the earth. Again, though still highly improbable, the possibility that a sustainable advancement eventually took root becomes significantly more probable.

If you treasure the knowledge and awareness that goes into your mind as much as you do belief, why not give a possible explanation a chance? It is OK, even preferred that you wear a skeptics hat while investigating possibilities. Investigate the books I recommended. However, if remaining a skeptic just for the sake of being a skeptic is more virtuous to you than investigating possibilities, then so be it.

kalqlate
19th September, 2011 @ 02:13 pm PDT

kalqlate.... For the sake of conversation let's assume that your accident took place. You still have a huge problem. If all the pieces came together by chance - where did the life come from? Life ONLY comes from life. To date there has not been one case where life was ever restored to a truly dead cell. And even if man could restore life - creating it is an even bigger problem. And if that happened it is still going nowhere because procreation is let's just say an impossibility by accident or any effort for man to create it. To believe man will ever do that is an enormous leap of faith far exceeding an acceptance of intelligent creation.

donwine
19th September, 2011 @ 05:33 pm PDT

Donwine.... if life only comes from life... who created life? The chicken?

Jabboson
19th September, 2011 @ 06:45 pm PDT

1. The Big Bang and our Universe are simply one of an infinite number of universes called the "Multi-Verse". Our Universe "budded" out from a previous universe within the Multi-verse. Given an infinite number of universes, there are some with the right ingredients for life.

2. The difference between science and religion is that science can admit it is wrong, if there is sufficient evidence to show a different view. Religion is fixed, unyielding, claiming it is the ONLY truth, that there can be no disputing its gospel, there can be no other explanation.

3. Who knows what led to the first life form coming into existence. Science is only in its infancy, we don't have all the answers ... yet. Most likely, it was at first the random combining of organic molecules (known to exist in many places even on asteroids), which led to the development of simple cells, and so forth. The cell was only discovered a few centuries ago. Think of what we will know in a thousand years, or even a million years. But for religion, even in a million years nothing will change.

Satviewer2000
19th September, 2011 @ 07:54 pm PDT

Physicist and author Paul Davies points out that science does a wonderful job of explaining physical phenomena such as rain. But he says: 'When it comes to . . . questions such as "Why are there laws of nature?" the situation is less clear. These sorts of questions are not much affected by specific scientific discoveries: many of the really big questions have remained unchanged since the birth of civilization and still vex us today.'

The important point is not merely that there are regularities in nature, wrote Flew in 2007, but that these regularities are mathematically precise, universal, and tied together. Einstein spoke of them as reason incarnate. The question we should ask is how nature came packaged in this fashion. This is certainly the question that scientists from Newton to Einstein to Heisenberg have asked and answered. Their answer was the Mind of God.

Indeed, many highly respected scientists do not consider it unscientific to believe in an intelligent First Cause. On the other hand, to say that the universe, its laws, and life just happened is intellectually unsatisfying. Everyday experience tells us that design especially highly sophisticated design calls for a designer

wbts

John Sorg
19th September, 2011 @ 08:14 pm PDT

@Donwine - You said, "If all the pieces came together by chance - where did the life come from? Life ONLY comes from life."

Firstly, if it will not cause the universe to be snuffed out of existence, do you think you might be able to, just for a few seconds, LET GO of the notion that "life", AT ITS ROOTS, is more than the mechanics afforded by physics and chemistry? If you can TRULY let go just for a few seconds, you might find your mind advancing to seeing "life" and existence more clearly. If you can't do that or are afraid to... hey, no problem... you are free to choose to "believe" whatever you like.

Still, though, regardless of any beliefs you may harbor, life runs on the reality of the mechanics of what we call physics and chemistry... there is no escaping it. That's precisely why a boulder falling on your head can kill you (physics can destroy life). That's precisely why many chemicals can kill you (chemistry can destroy life). Therefore, regardless of what you choose to "believe", "life" ("the sanctity of life", as George dubya used to always put it) is VERY EVIDENTLY at the mercy of physics and chemistry. So much for any "sanctity" or special consideration for "life".

No such special consideration exists from the physical, functioning universe perspective. It might only exist from the "living" perspective, which naturally and unfortunately creates a living-centric point of view that causes those who can't free themselves from it to view things strictly from the perspective of having life and being alive. What harm is there in that? The same harm that came to those who were stuck in viewing the universe as Earth-centric--it stifled their drive and ability to see beyond the "obvious" to find a greater, deeper truth about reality. Imagine if everyone had their minds stuck in the Earth-centric perspective. Where would cosmology be today? The same is true for the study of the origins of life. If you stop at "it was designed and created", you will be forever blissfully blind to a deeper truth about reality.

I'm afraid that you are stuck in the life-centric perspective. You don't see it because, like viewing the earth as the center of the universe seemed so obvious and true, it feels good, it feels right to believe that it is impossible for something so special and complex to have arisen almost from nothing. As true science has proven time and again, what feels good and right--what aligns with our beliefs--is most often very wrong. NOW comes your opportunity to free yourself from the self-imposed and self-blinding bonds of the life-centric and life-is-too-special perspectives.

If you are still reading, I hope you have, for the sake of conversation, at least decided to momentarily set aside your seemingly hardwired assumption that life AT ITS ROOTS is something much much more than the possible and probable mechanics of physics and chemistry playing themselves out, and, therefore, in need of design and creation.

As complexity increases in a system, more and more "emergent" properties begin to manifest. Emergent? An emergent property is one that is reliant on the existence of the underlying system but that displays behavior that cannot be fully explained by its underlying structure or processes. There are many examples: Flocking birds and fish, hurricanes, ecosystems, the mind from neurons and neuronal activity. None of these emergent things can be fully explained by looking at its constituent parts. SO FAR, no amount of analysis of the underlying parts can explain the phenomenon of emergence that occurs when the underlying parts begin to operate together, even in the simplest of ways. However, the more complex the interactions, the more dramatically beyond the base is that which emerges. This is why complexity theory and emergence is such a hot field these days. Life is an emergent phenomenon from the complex interaction of its non-living constituents. (For more on "emergence" and "complexity theory", look them up separately on Wikipedia for starters.)

Note that a flock of birds is fluid, dynamic and evolving in ways that all of the birds individually are not. A keen observer might note that the "flock" looks strikingly organic in ways that individual birds or fish cannot. However fleeting, when the birds or fish coalesce into a flock they create something new, an entity that seems to exist on a higher level than any one of its members. Imagine now that some large membrane encapsulated the flock such that it was much longer-lived. Unlike the fleeting existence of a flock, a brain's constituents are bound for a much longer duration. That which is emergent from the seemingly coordinated functioning of billions of neurons and trillions of connections does not resemble its constituents at all. Interesting about any mind... it isn't designed nor created; it evolves over time.

Asking "where did the life come from?" is EXACTLY the same question as "where did the mind come from?". Those who prefer to reach for the simple answers will say "it was specially created". Hopefully, you will see from the mind/brain analogy that though a mind can't be fully explained by the actions of its individual parts, its emergence/manifestation is wholly dependent upon its complex functioning parts being bound together in a non-fleeting way. So, too, is it with a cell. The action that you call "life" is what is emergent from the complex interactions of the cell members bound by a cell membrane that, as you agreed "for sake of conversation", came together [over a VERY VERY LONG TIME of quadrillions upon quadrillions of MULTI-BRANCHING chains of events].

You said, "To date there has not been one case where life was ever restored to a truly dead cell."

That would be profound if it weren't also true that to date, there has not been one case where a mind was ever restored to a truly dead brain. Emergence is something that requires the proper functioning of the constituent parts.

You said, "And even if man could restore life - creating it is an even bigger problem. And if that happened it is still going nowhere because..."

You really should start reading and investigating more and start believing less; it makes you appear a pseudo-intellectual. Search YouTube for "Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life"".

You are looking for one-shot answers to a very complex question. It's like saying, "Well, I didn't see any of the Apollo stuff. I don't believe they landed on the moon", then asking, "So, if they did do it, tell me, how did they land on the moon?" Do you really expect a complete answer in a one-page response? If so, you really aren't looking for an answer. Instead, you're simply feeling and exhibiting more comfort in Upholding your beliefs. If you honor and respect your own capacity as a thinking human, you owe it to yourself to investigate these things in more detail rather than smugly declaring "Impossible!"

Here in this response, I have not detailed the possible and probable processes that could bring about abiogenesis. I have mainly addressed your question of "where did the life come from?" To see how abiogenesis might've occurred, search YouTube for this presentation: "The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis - Dr. Jack Szostak ". And, once again, do a skeptical read of Christian de Duve's "Vital Dust". The first 200 pages will answer both the questions of "how might have abiogenesis occurred" and "where did the life come from".

Only you can command your intellectual growth and integrity.

kalqlate
20th September, 2011 @ 01:46 am PDT

@John Sorg - Would you feel that life is any less designed if "God" had tossed marbles in the air and let the resultant pattern be the source for the initial conditions of the Universe? Keep in mind that this proposed random action led to the exact universe you see today. Honestly, from your perspective, would you know? Would you have any ability to declare what was designed and what was not?

Of course, if the random action resulted in this exact scenario that is playing out right now, you would interpret it the same way. This is due to you being guided by the Anthropic Principle. (Please see my FIRST comment addressed @DONWINE. It it I discuss the Anthropic Principle.)

It naturally follows that if "God" could toss marbles to determine the initial conditions for our universe, then it is equally true that some other random process could've determined the initial conditions.

Rather than a random selector, the Multi-verse theory suggests an evolutionary process for the selection of initial conditions. If a multi-verse, what created the multi-verse? It could be as simple as "possibility" itself. Why? Because "possibility" is the one thing that does not require a precursor. Think on it. Further "possibility" immediately implies the existence of infinities upon infinities of varied existences. Think on that too.

There is absolutely no way under the sun that you can declare that a single specifically and intelligently designed universe is more probable than either one with randomized initial conditions or one brought about by evolution in a multi-verse. To do so reveals a heavy Creationist bias and a disregard and disrespect for basic logic and reason. The reason being that, from the internal perspective in which you find yourself, you are not at all privy to what the creative force might've been. To say you are privy to such information is clearly self-delusional and wishful thinking.

kalqlate
20th September, 2011 @ 02:29 am PDT

If evolution cannot be be proven - can creation be proven? It is written that when the life goes out - it returns to the dust which it came from. In this, man has no superiority over the animals because they both return to dust and their thoughts perish. In the days of Egypt they tried to stop that process. Today man uses Cryogenics. Why? Because those words are true and eventually that process will take place. (sooner when their money runs out!) Who would deny this truth? If it is true - then would this not be a basis to keep searching for more truth?

donwine
20th September, 2011 @ 07:10 am PDT

@Satviewer2000 "1. The Big Bang and our Universe are simply one of an infinite number of universes called the "Multi-Verse". Our Universe "budded" out from a previous universe within the Multi-verse. Given an infinite number of universes, there are some with the right ingredients for life."

im sorry, but where in the scientific community agrees with that statement? That is one of the many hypothesis that tries to explain what occurred before our universe was formed.

If anything the Big Bang theory points to a single point. a beginning. anything beyond that is anybody's guess. Right now you are just stating an opinion on what you think happened but there is no proof.

Abiogenesis is the umbrella that houses a lot of different hypothesis on how life came to be. but they are only hypothesis, none are proven and i can't say that the scientific community as a whole will agree with any one single hypothesis.

Fact is Even if these scientist are able to create 'life' as in random bits of dna, replicating them self, mutating like we see in micro evolution. It will only prove one point. Its made by human beings, a creator. Not by some random process.

@kalqlate again, there is no proof for a multi-verse. only hypothesis that are not proven. Its not science and does not help your argument. Don't spout it off like its already a known scientific fact because im quite sure not a lot of people believe there are such things. Its just another form of 'faith'

whuang86
20th September, 2011 @ 09:11 am PDT

@whuang86-----The multiverse is an adaptation of the string "Theory" which has fallen out of the flavor of the month club. Was not the Universe slowing down and then would state retracting to an ultimate implosion then start the whole process over again with another big bang? Wow that sure changed, now the universe is expanding until there will be nothing left eventually. Dark matter? Is it anti-matter? micro-black holes? what holds it all together?Do the black holes at the center of each Galaxy cause any matter to be expeled to speed up or slow down the expanding process? Are black holes like universal volcanos spewing dark matter? or do they destroy all matter? or do they take in matter and change it? The point is Science has changed it's view point on all of these theories so when some folks talk in absolutes like they know more than some of the greatest human minds that ever lived you have to ask your self what is their agenda? The more we learn the more we realize we don't know and that is the truth.

John Sorg
20th September, 2011 @ 11:56 am PDT

Professor of microbiology John Postgate points out: "The world's religions have . . . brought the horrors of human sacrifice, crusades, pogroms and inquisitions. In the modern world this darker side of religion has become dangerous. For unlike science, religion is not neutral."

Comparing that with the assumed rationality, objectivity, and discipline of science, Postgate claims that "science has come to occupy the high ground of morality."

Has science really seized the moral high ground? The answer is no. Postgate himself admits that "scientific communities have their share of jealousy, greed, prejudice and envy." He adds that "a few scientists have shown themselves capable of murder in the name of research, as happened in Nazi Germany and Japanese prison camps." This kind of opened my eyes, when National Geographic assigned an investigative reporter to find out how a fossil hoax ended up in its pages, the reporter spoke of "a tale of misguided secrecy and misplaced confidence, of rampant egos clashing, self-aggrandizement, wishful thinking, naive assumptions, human error, stubbornness, manipulation, backbiting, lying, [and] corruption."

And, of course, it is science that has given mankind horrific instruments of warfare, such as weapons-grade disease organisms, poison gas, missiles, "smart" bombs, and nuclear bombs.

There is no moral high ground when all have blood on their hands!

John Sorg
20th September, 2011 @ 12:25 pm PDT

John Sorg makes a good point. True science has been embarrassed by presumptuous evolutionist but the same can be said about man made false religions. How could a creator who made the beautiful flowers of the field have anything to do with either "God" dishonoring products of man? His creative works speaks volumes about his attributes. The record of evolution reflects a history of greed, the fittest first mentality, a hopeless future, a trend to no morals, animallistic behavior and a ME first generation. The truth can be found by looking at the evidence.

donwine
20th September, 2011 @ 02:50 pm PDT

@donwine

And there was me worrying you would embarrass yourself. Way too late it seems with this latest gibberish.

Lets see;

John Song makes a good point ... that scientists are human? Hold the front page!

"True science embarrassed by presumptuous evolutionist"? Hardy. The Archaeoraptor incident shows yet again the strength of the scientific method (it was scientists, not creationists who brought to light the fraud even before the 'find' was submitted (and rejected) for peer reviewed publication). The true embarrassment is creationists dishonestly claiming that the premature announcement in a non scientific magazine represents even the slightest dent in evolution or more specifically the evidence for the development of feathers. It doesn't and never did.

God makes beautiful flowers? - and murdering millions of innocent children every year and condemning them to eternal hell fire for not having worshipped the right God in that short time is not to be taken as one of his/her/it's "creative works" on which judgement should be made?

You tell us that evolution is nonsense and then go on to blame something that (in your mind) doesn't exist for the woes of the world. Morality pre-dates religion (they are all "man made") and the future will only be "hopeless" if you and your ilk can somehow prevent future generations from ignoring the evidence as you do.

Reason
20th September, 2011 @ 07:30 pm PDT

mcsblues....Evidence is what I deal in and evidently you missed the word "false" when I referred to man made religion. As you said: "condemning them to eternal hell fire for not having worshiped the right God" was concocted by man for their evil purposes. False teachings have turned many away from knowing the "truth" and they as well as evolutionist have no explanation as to why we are here and where we are going. Only evidential truth can explain mans most important questions. True science has done much for mankind but no one here has said one thing that evolution has done to benefit people. There should be evidence if others are expected to believe and put faith in an accident beginning. Where is the proof???

donwine
20th September, 2011 @ 09:52 pm PDT

@whuang86

@John Sorg

@donwine

@ALL CREATIONIST / INTELLIGENT DESIGN ENTHUSIASTS

Of course the multi-verse theory is only one of many guesses as to what might be beyond. I raise it here because YOU are the ones declaring that YOU know specifically that the universe and life were created by an intelligent designer. It is YOU who are speaking in absolutes. I have merely raised an alternative that you can only deny as a possibility if you are delusional in the sense that YOU feel that YOU are somehow privy to absolute knowledge of what brought forth existence. Hahaha... no, I'm sorry--the Bible or any of the other thousands of magic texts are not credible as "absolute knowledge" no matter how strongly you BELIEVE it is. Sorry.

"The multiverse is an adaptation of the string "Theory""

Hmm. What orifice did you pull that out of? String Theory might imply a multi-verse, but a multi-verse was theorized LONG before String Theory came along. Really? Come on! All one has to do to imagine the possibility of a multi-verse is to examine all of the hierarchies that we can observe throughout our micro through our macro. Our entire existence is hierarchical. Over time, we have seen deeper and deeper into smaller levels of existence. Likewise, we have peered deeper and deeper and have eventually grasped the larger-scale structures of the universe. We cannot see all the way down, nor can we see all the way up. WHAT SENSE DOES IT MAKE TO PRESUME THAT HIERARCHY DOES NOT CONTINUE BEYOND WHAT WE CAN SEE WHEN, OVER THE CENTURIES, WE HAVE CONTINUALLY EXPANDED OUR DEPTHS AND HORIZONS? I'm not declaring it to be so, but using that simple tool called "extrapolation", the rational among us will imagine that a continued hierarchy beyond what we CURRENTLY can SEE is more reasonable than not.

Hahaha... REALLY? You sound like the ant who's holding a bunch of boxes that each contain a bunch of other boxes that also contain another bunch of boxes on and on. He looks up, says "Yes, I can see the hierarchy of my boxes, and I look up and I imagine that I, too, might be in a box, but I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to extrapolate that my containing box might not be at the top of the hierarchy. NO, NO, NO! I am here in THIS BOX. THIS BOX is THEE BOX... THE TOP BOX! DAMN those DAMNED multi-versarian possibilicists! DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL!!"

Yes, science comes up with many MANY theories that are either confirmed or overturned. Guess what? We keep trying? Why? Because it's just so mindless to throw up our hands and say,

"It's oh so mysterious and miraculous, and, WOW, so complex that it must be by design. How? Why? OMG! That's it! That's it! OMG, OMG, Oh My God! It's not meant for us to know any deeper answers. It's best for us to simply say 'God did it' even though we have no proof of design other than what APPEARS to us as design. When scientists say, 'Yeah, but snowflakes also look very intricately designed, but we know that they are just a result of natural physical processes that lead to what APPEARS as design', we have to ignore stuff like that because it's counter to our intuition about life having to have a designer."

Where would humankind be today if everyone had fallen in lockstep with those who say its fruitless to look beyond what seems to be the AT-THE-CURRENT-LEVEL-OF KNOWLEDGE-AND-ABILITY logical endpoint? We would all be Earth-centric, flat-earth religious nuts who want to burn everyone who dares to observe beyond, think deeper and propose beyond.

kalqlate
20th September, 2011 @ 10:26 pm PDT

Propagated criticism is not evidence of proof. I do want to thank Gizmag for allowing this forum for all to to express their views. This is perhaps a record setting number for comments. This subject appears to be dear to the hearts of many.

donwine
20th September, 2011 @ 11:01 pm PDT

WOW @kalqlate, who are you masked person. You use a screen name to spout your dribble and self glorification. As we can plainly see your knowledge greatly surpasses--- EINSTINE, FLEW, HEISENBERG, NEWTON, or POLKINGHORN, MENDELEYEV, JEANS, PHILLIPS, BEHE, LENNOX, BARROW, DEMBSKI, among many others like, LUTHER D. SUTHERLAND who wrote in his book Darwin's Enigma: "The scientific evidence shows that whenever any basically different type of life first appeared on Earth, all the way from single-celled protozoa to man, it was complete and its organs and structures were complete and fully functional. The inescapable deduction to be drawn from this fact is that there was some sort of pre-existing intelligence before life first appeared on Earth."

Donald E. Chittick, a physical chemist who earned a doctorate degree at Oregon State University, comments: "A direct look at the fossil record would lead one to conclude that animals reproduced after their kind as Genesis states. They did not change from one kind into another. The evidence now, as in Darwin's day, is in agreement with the Genesis record of direct creation. Animals and plants continue to reproduce after their kind. In fact, the conflict between paleontology (study of fossils) and Darwinism is so strong that some scientists are beginning to believe that the in-between forms will never be found."

Author and former professor of nuclear physics Dr. Gerald Schroeder compares the likelihood of mere chance being the cause behind the universe and life to the odds of winning the lottery three times in a row: "Before you collect your third winnings, you will be on your way to jail for having rigged the results. The probability of winning three in a row, or three in a lifetime, is so small as to be negligible." --------------- Read Michael Denton's book EVOLUTION A THEORY IN CRISSIS and I could go on and on and I honestly don't think you are as smart as you let on like I eludid to in the begining you are a sniper under the cover of the net and that speaks volumes.

John Sorg
21st September, 2011 @ 07:44 am PDT

@donwine

You said, "Mindless accidental life coming from who knows what and evolving into higher forms only because of needs cannot explain THE PURPOSE OR WHY these things are for a fact present:"

You said, "False teachings have turned many away from knowing the "truth" and they as well as evolutionist have NO EXPLANATION AS TO WHY we are here and WHERE we are going."

Scientist/evolutionist have not ever given the slightest intimation that their goal is to explain the "why", but they do use forward extrapolation to TRY to explain the "where to" and backward extrapolation to explain the "where from". They further TRY to employ their ever-growing body of scientific knowledge, evidence and reason to TRY to answer the "how".

And, what do you do? You idly sit by and repeat the mantra, "Ommmmmm... Ours is not to reason [when, where, how or] why. Ours is but to do and die."

I can see that you find that passive approach to the quest for understanding more virtuous than the active approach that seeks to employ the powers of the human mind to ask questions and to do its best to solve them directly, or empirically and reasonably if that's the best that can be done. Once again, though, where does your passive approach lead?

As mentioned, no scientist or evolutionist is trying to answer the question of "why". However, just for funs... would you be able to handle it if the ultimate truth is that there IS no reason why? No reason other than that the existence of the universe and the life within is as incidental as a solar flare? No reason other than that the fundamentals of the universe can evolve complexity (and apparent design) for the same reason that snowflakes can appear to have apparent design? What if there is no reason and no why? What if life is purely an incidental, "unintended" consequence of the actions of the universe, much in the same incidental, "unintended" way that tsunamis and other natural disasters kill hundreds of thousands to millions of people every year? Would you be able to handle that?

A legitimate quest for the truth requires a legitimate attempt at being objective, of letting go of notions that are near and dear. Your bandying about "the reason why" as some kind of grand measure of success shows that you are not objective, that you are stuck in a human-centric, intelligent design frame of mind and, therefore, incapable of applying objective reasoning to these questions.

You said, "Here is a way to test your theories: The largest living single cell is the ostrich egg. You don't have make it - there is your cell. Now freeze it then thaw it out. Let's see you breath life back into it! Do that and I will firmly believe anything you tell me. "

I don't know much about ostrich eggs, but I know a little bit about the eggs and sperm that lead to the birth of the most intelligent and self-aware creature on the planet. The human egg and sperm have both been frozen, thawed and revitalized, and combined to function as normal to bring forth new life MILLIONS OF TIMES.

Can't you see how flawed your logic is?

"Propagated criticism is not evidence of proof."

Wow! What hypocrisy! Throughout this entire thread, you have used "criticism" in the same manner in which we all have: not as as proof of any position, but to shed light on the possible inadequacies of the other's position. Yet another example of your lack of intellectual integrity.

Did you watch any of the videos I recommended? Did you research either of the books that I recommended? Only you know the true answer to that. All I can say is that if you choose to only examine information that supports your belief, you will forever limit your awareness and ability to "evolve" or, if you must, argue your point more effectively.

To my credit, over the years, I have read many creationist/I.D.-leaning books, and I have and still do frequent many creationist/I.D. websites. I have done so with an open mind. As with them, as with you, the origin of their flawed logic is insisting that there MUST BE a "reason why". If you silence that notion in your mind for just a short while, you might see a different light shining that reveals that existence of the universe and the existence of life can be thought of just as miraculously and wonderfully without there having to be reason or purpose and, therefore, design.

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 07:48 am PDT

kalqlate.... You were very thorough in your quotes but you missed the most important one. I stated that when we die we return to dust. True science has proven that to be a fact. The sentence pronounced on Adam was "For dust you are and to dust you will return." (Gen. 3:19) Science has confirmed this to be true which makes it a fact. If evolution was true - then where does death fit into the ever progression of forward evolving into new life forms. Under the presumption that (evolved) life goes forward - no one has explained why we die. Death makes no sense in that line of reasoning. We all face death (which is true and a fact) and the fact that evolution has no answer cripples their credibility.

donwine
21st September, 2011 @ 08:51 am PDT

@kalqlate

if something can't be proven by science, does it make it false?

whuang86
21st September, 2011 @ 08:55 am PDT

@Kalqlate, Look around your house your city your state and see inner and outer workings what do you see that has no purpose. All I see are the things that man has made and all have a purpose no matter how trivial, art, mechanical devices, architecture, transportation, laboratories, and the like. Birds, fish, insects, mammals, reptiles, rain bacteria, air. Any way all have a purpose. Ive gone fishing and tossed my catch in the freezer 6 mos later thaw them out in cold water and many start swimming again now that is something to see. Any way that argument of no purpose is lame, it all has a purpose it may be beyond your comprehension after all your not god are you? or maybe hhhmmm nah no way forget it. Oh a few more science writers that I've found to be objective. "A component has evidently been missing from cosmological studies. The origin of the Universe, like the solution of the Rubik cube, requires an intelligence," wrote astrophysicist Fred Hoyle in his book The Intelligent Universe, page 189.

"The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming." Disturbing the Universe, by Freeman Dyson, page 250.

"What features of the Universe were essential for the emergence of creatures such as ourselves, and is it through coincidence, or for some deeper reason, that our Universe has these features? . . . Is there some deeper plan that ensures that the Universe is tailor-made for humankind?" Cosmic Coincidences, by John Gribbin and Martin Rees, pages xiv, 4.

Fred Hoyle also comments on these properties, on page 220 of his book quoted above: "Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy accidents. But there are so many of these odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them."

"It is not only that man is adapted to the universe. The universe is adapted to man. Imagine a universe in which one or another of the fundamental dimensionless constants of physics is altered by a few percent one way or the other? Man could never come into being in such a universe. That is the central point of the anthropic principle. According to this principle, a life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the world." The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," by John Barrow and Frank Tipler, page vii.

So I'm out got ta catch a flight play nice kiddies!

John Sorg
21st September, 2011 @ 09:50 am PDT

@John Sorg

XD

Sorry to have ruffled your feathers. Your ad hominem attack does nothing more than undermine your credibility and intellectual integrity.

You said, "WOW @kalqlate, who are you masked person. You use a screen name to spout your dribble and self glorification."

:D Really? You gathered all of that from my use of a screen name? Wow! I really did get under your skin. Sorry. Whew! (hahaha)

You toss out a bunch of names as if to say they prove your opinion, and to further admonish me with "HOW DARE YOU equate your thinking ability with theirs?" My friend, if all you can do is look to others to do your thinking for you, then you will be forever at the mercy of what others think. I, on the other hand, have the courage, confidence and intellectual diligence to proudly say, "Yes! My thinking ability is on par with that of any other mind." Hahaha... You expect me to be ashamed of my skills of objective logic and reasoning? Haha... no. I will leave shame to you... It is your apparent lack of objective reasoning and logic that leave you feeling helplessly intellectually inadequate such that you will quickly defer to your "beliefs" as though they should be satisfactory answers for anyone. Sorry. Your "beliefs" are not evidence enough for me.

You said, "...I honestly don't think you are as smart as you let on..."

Hmm, key phrase: "as smart as you let on"? Why, THANK YOU!!!! I have then indeed presented myself as "SMART". Ohh, I am so humbled. You do me such honor. Thank you.

Now, let's have a look at you, shall we?

You said, "And, of course, it is science that has given mankind horrific instruments of warfare, such as weapons-grade disease organisms, poison gas, missiles, "smart" bombs, and nuclear bombs."

Hmm. It baffles a logical and reasonable mind that you somehow indicate that "science" is somehow responsible for the "creation" and "use" of weapons of mass destruction. Hmm. A logical and reasonable mind would first look to GOVERNMENTS and HUMAN AGENDAS that EMPLOY and/or COERCE scientists and science to inventing things to do harm rather than to say, "AH HA! SCIENCE DID IT! SCIENCE DESTROYS! SCIENCE IS EEEEEEEVIL! HA HA HA, SCIENTISTS... CHECK MATE!"

Ha ha ha... NO... CHECK your logic... MATE. You look foolish for positing such a silly notion and for trying to position the motivations of science and scientists on par with the historically proven, ofttimes nefarious intents of governments, politics and religions.

Back to the creation vs evolution debate:

You don't realize it, but you are cherry-picking the minds that you allow to feed yours. You have given quotes from a few scientists. BRAVO! You then hold them up as banners of the correctness of your position. Soooo, we should take quotes and positions as indicators of the validity of our position, eh? OK (said quickly and with MUCH zeal!)

Let's compare the number of SCIENTIFIC proponents of your argument vs the number of proponents of my argument, shall we?

From Wikipedia : Level of support for evolution

(Don't worry, they include footnotes to the sources for corroboration.)

"One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".[27] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".[28] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.[29][30]"

Now, hmm, would you like for me to bring forth quotes from my camp? Oh, I can surely do that for you, if you like. However, do you really want to find yourself drowning in such a bloodbath of counter, evidenced-based testimony? No. I will embarrass you no further.

Think longer, try harder next time, for you correctly gleaned from my earlier writing that I am "as smart as [I] let on". And, you?

XD

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 10:27 am PDT

@donwine - You said, "You were very thorough in your quotes but you missed the most important one. I stated that when we die we return to dust. True science has proven that to be a fact."

Hmm. "important" to you. Sorry, I completely ignored it because I do choose not to "believe" much of anything. Instead, I prefer to "objectively observe" and draw conclusions from those things. Yes, today, we return to dust. However, remember that science and technology are in increasingly-successfully and tirelessly in pursuit of ever-increasing longevity. What becomes of your vaulted "we return to dust" when we do, in fact, overcome the "death" issue? You will have to, gulp, swallow your pride and modify your rhetoric, won't you. Me, on the other hand, I do not look at my position with any pride because I know that all things change and evolve, EVEN "we return to dust" will change and evolve.

Looky, I've already successfully slammed your point about freezing eggs and bringing them back to life. Do you really want me to continue to mind-slam you. Hahahaha... sorry... I'm having such fun with you.

Here we go...

You said, "Under the presumption that (evolved) life goes forward - no one has explained why we die. Death makes no sense in that line of reasoning."

Oh, GOD!!! Really? How about just ONE quick one: Death is an efficient way to assure that the limited resources of a closed eco-environment is sufficient to sustain the living. Really? If life were to multiply unabated for just 10 years, it would've be unattainable. Evolution is a pretty smart cookie, you see, hmm, quite a bit smarter than you, it appears. Oh, you want another reason why death exists? Life is a convenient source of energy for other life, thus herbivores and carnivores.... all life EATS other life causing the DEATH of life.

Would you like yet another? Please ask? Or, rather than using my brain, how about using your own. Observe, MAN, and THINK!! The reasons for many of life's supposed mysteries are RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!! Just crack your mind open a little wider to allow these self-evident answers to flow in, and, guess what?... your mind will crack open a little further and a little further until the glory of reason floods your thoughts and the universe becomes even more miraculous to you than it ever has before.

Wouldn't you consider an existence that can evolve and manifest UNEXPECTED things much more exciting and interesting than one that was created and planned down to the last detail? Give your universe some props, dude. Respect it by observing it free from the coloration of what you "believe" about it. It speaks to you every day. It shows you truth every day. You do not have to believe anything about it. Simply look at what it presents.

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 10:55 am PDT

@whuang86 - You asked, "if something can't be proven by science, does it make it false?"

Of course, not.

However, if something can be shown to be based purely on belief with only "apparent interpretation" as its only evidence, it is not worthy of an intelligent search for answers. Why, because "belief" in something is not "proof" of something, and "belief" can neither be proven nor disproved. "Belief" is like any fictional story: It can be as real or unreal as you want it to be in your imagination.

Creation canNOT be proven true or false with time and effort. It is a belief. It is NOT subject to the scientific method.

Abiogenesis CAN be proven true or false with time and effort. It is a theory that can continually be analyzed and experimented with. It IS subject to the scientific method.

Evolution CAN be proven with time and effort. It is a theory that continually advances as more and more of the fossil record is uncovered. It IS subject to the scientific method.

Here's the creationist modus:

If scientists show that the fossil record indicates animal type "H" and show how it correlates with animal type "T", and they postulate that "T" most likely evolved from "H" because of the trajectory from animal type "A" to "H" and "T" to "Z", and "A" to "Z" seem to be the longer and inclusive trajectory, creationists will scoff and proclaim that the correlation is improbable and demand, "Show me a transitional fossil!" As soon as animal type "M" is discovered and presented... yeah, you guessed it, the refrain becomes, show me a transition from 'H' to 'M'. When that is accomplished, they move the goal post yet again. This has happened a number of times.

So, to answer your question, "if something can't be proven by science, does it make it false?", No. But it makes it much more of a reasonable possibility if it can be subject to scientific investigation.

Finally, "belief" has never advanced mankind. Instead, "belief" is a retarding agent that seeks conformity of thought as it acts to stifle creative thinking and experimentation. "scientific inquiry and experimentation" has been the greatest source of the advancement of freedom of thought and of mankind. "Belief" didn't lead to the Internet and chat forums, "scientific inquiry and experimentation" did.

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 12:14 pm PDT

@donwine - Correction:

"If life were to multiply unabated for just 10 years, it would've be unattainable."

Should've been:

"If life were to multiply unabated for just 10 years, it would beCOME unSUStainable.

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 12:18 pm PDT

How can you prove or disprove abiogenesis? What is science to you? are you talking about the scientific method or something else?

whuang86
21st September, 2011 @ 04:37 pm PDT

Here we go, donwine don't waste your breath this person watches to much torchwood. Remember don't cast your pearls before swine, mind slam WOW what self aggrandizement this person should be thought a fool than open his/her mouth and end all doubt. unfortunately the mouth has been opened, sssoooo there ya have it and I'm sure that He/She will spout something remarkably unclever or inappropriate, so be it. Death is unnatural that is why most fear it Death is not programed in our DNA but life is. And to the need to die, well just think about no human death by now we would be living about the stars. Most folks with the appropriate knowledge says there is no reason that humans/humanity can't live for ever. Just think all the great minds that ever lived or the great minds that were never born, every one having a fully functioning mind body researching, building, exploring, no death to impede progress there would be no issue of overpopulation as there is an entire universe to colonize. God said that mankind was his favorite of all creation so I have faith and if you knew me before then you would know that all this took a huge leap of faith. Like Saul of Tarsus I was not nice to any one but things change even though The former life still rears its ugly head, you know the desire to destroy any one that I didn't like or agree with which I did with much relish. My epiphany is a long story and sad to say painful but my mind and heart have been opened and I'll never go back even under the threat of death. Now I've said all of this to point out that there IS much much more to this life than some small minded folks would have you believe. You all take care and please find your way and stay on that narrow road keep your faith ( Hebrews 11-1 )!

John Sorg
21st September, 2011 @ 05:53 pm PDT

Why are people here trying to debunk the entire theory of evolution based on the fact that abiogenesis hasn't been proven yet? It also surprises me that some people keep asking for transitional fossils, as if none had ever been found...

José Carlos Pérez
21st September, 2011 @ 06:12 pm PDT

Fact - special cells unite to begin a new life. Some cells divide. No cell has ever evolved because it is programed by DNA. When a cell is TRULY dead - it cannot be revived to life again. "One gram of DNA carries as much information as a trillion CD's could."

Conclusion: Someone writes a CD or DVD so who wrote all that information in the DNA? A cell or even a skilled writer could not preform that task. Yet it exist inside of every living cell. Knowledge is no accident. Knowledge does not evolve from an accident. There has to be an author of all that information.

Dead and procreation and the reason they exist are 2 aspects of life which cannot be explained by evolution. You either evolve or procreate - you cannot have it both ways. We all exist because we were born into this world. Your proof is this - we are LIVING proof of procreation. Too think otherwise would not be wise!

donwine
21st September, 2011 @ 07:48 pm PDT

Everybody stop arguing with donwine.... You cannot argue with fools, they will reduce you to their level and beat you with experice.

Jabboson
21st September, 2011 @ 10:42 pm PDT

@whuang86 - You asked, "How can you prove or disprove abiogenesis? What is science to you?"

1) The scientific method NOW includes computer and supercomputer modeling. In fact, most advances today are made through simulation. Most of astrophysics and cosmology depend on computer simulation. Simulations of all kinds are becoming more detailed as our processing speeds and capacities increase. A realistic and accurate simulation of abiogenesis is certainly likely to occur before physical proof in a lab occurs.

2) Robotic exploration of some of the icy moons suspected of having huge oceans of water beneath their icy crusts are planned within this century, and might even occur within the first half of the century. One of the science goals of such missions is to look for potential evidence of abiogenesis on those moons. (Read the Wikipedia "Abiogenesis" article to learn precisely what they will be looking for.)

3) Direct physical experimentation on abiogenesis is ongoing. (See Wikipedia: Abiogenesis.) If it took hundreds of millions of years to happen on pre-biotic Earth, don't expect it to be revealed in a lab within the first 60 years since it has been scientifically investigated. It could take hundreds more years before we prove it physically. However, that hundreds of years is far less than the hundreds of millions of years that it is theorized to have passed on early Earth before abiogenesis occurred IF abiogenesis was indeed the beginnings of biological life.

Notice that abiogenesis is a hypothesis; therefore, I speak of it with "IF". I've have given three methods for how scientists are seeking to reproduce or discover abiogenesis. Will such evidence prove that life on Earth began that way? No. But it will make the possibility absolute and the probability pretty good.

Differently, as far as I've read and experienced, creationists and I.D. proponents are absolutists in their convictions.

Further, I must ask, is creationism or I.D. beyond the need for proof? If not, how do you propose to prove it?

As far as I know, belief in gods, creation, and intelligent design can not be subjected to the scientific method at all, not in simulation, not in exploration, not in direct physical experimentation. I am not declaring that any of these things is not true. I'm saying that I personally choose not to "believe" in them because I find no value in believing in them. I do, however, find tremendous value in the continued pursuit of answers to those problems that avail their answers to be pursued. For this, no leap of faith is required.

There you have it. That is what science is and isn't to me as it relates to abiogenesis, and, YES, I am absolutely speaking of the scientific method.

Reiterating my question to you: Is creationism or I.D. beyond the need for proof? If not, how do you propose to prove it?

(Hint: Most creation/I.D. speak of proof of their proposition as the non-proof of abiogenesis and/or evolution. Now how disingenuous, incompetent and cowardly can you get? Regardless, they'll be riding that horse for a long time because scientists will continue their pursuits. My bet is that they WILL eventually succeed. How do I figure that? Historical precedent: No mater when or how long the naysayers keep up their mantra of "impossible", "waste of time", "God did it", scientists have always turned over stone and stone to eventually uncover the undeniable reality. In terms of numbers of victories that have advanced mankind: Science: GAZILLIONS, Belief: 0.)

kalqlate
21st September, 2011 @ 10:58 pm PDT

@donwine

Dude... SERIOUSLY! Did you not even read my reply when you first posed your question about death? Hahaha... someone once before told me to never try to have a debate with creationists. I asked them why and they said, "No matter how many times you definitively answer their questions, their minds are incapable of seeing your answer. You will feel as though they didn't even read it because they will make the same bold (yet debunked) assertions and ask the same questions over and over again." I didn't believe it... until this thread. XD

You said, "When a cell is TRULY dead - it cannot be revived to life again." Here, you are repeating yourself. Previously, you equated this to freezing an ostrich egg. I countered that with the very real-world reality of human sperm and egg routinely being frozen, revitalized and fertilized, eventually giving way to the birth of a baby.

On the evolutionary advantages of death:

1) Death of many (for sufficient sustenance of life in a closed ecosystem) : Death is an efficient way to assure that the limited resources of a closed eco-environment is sufficient to sustain the living.

2) Death of an individual (for survival of the species) : If life were to multiply unabated for just 10 years without any creatures dying off, it would be unsustainable and EVERYTHING STARVE TO DEATH. In this respect, death helps to assure survival of the species long enough until enough time has past for their to have been one or more births to advance the genes into the next generation. Death of the individual IS a product of evolution selecting for survival of the species.

2) Cell death (for survival of the individual) : There is no machine built by man nor by nature that doesn't wear out. Cell death IS a product of evolution selecting for life of the individual. As a cell (a biological machine) ages, it's internal machinery stops functioning accurately. There are some corrective measures that cells take, but eventually, a cell loses its ability to repair itself. When it detects this, it initiates apoptosis: a normal, genetically regulated process leading to the death of cells and triggered by the presence or absence of certain stimuli, such as DNA damage. The lack of ability for apoptosis, genetically driven cell death, is what leads to cancer.

3) Death of an individual (as food for other life) : An individual life (plant or animal), among many things, is a repackaging of the sun's energy. One individual's store of energy can be fairly quickly metabolized and incorporated into the energy store of another individual. This occurs through the biological process known as eating and metabolism. Herbivores and carnivores.... all life EATS other life causing the DEATH of life.

On the evolutionary advantage of procreation:

Very simply: Life is a repeating process whose basis is cell division. An individual producing offspring from its own genes will only create clones of itself (with only occasional mutations (beneficial or detrimental)). That's fine and desired within an individual (with some differentiation for functional purposes). However cloned individuals will generally be no more hearty or less susceptible to disease and, therefore, death than their parent. Procreation solves that problem by mainly assuring that offspring are generated from two different parents with different genes. The genes mix and match producing a new offspring (which can actually be considered a new evolutionary experiment), one that may or may not have advantages for survival. One thing is certain: This form of procreation assures that the gene pool does not remain static and that life can continue to potentially advance toward greater survivability, enhanced or different function, and what we term new species.

Evolution is a pretty smart cookie, and evolution is what engineered these processes into cells, individuals and species over VAST periods of time. You, on the other hand, may not be so smart because you couldn't imagine how death and procreation have evolutionary advantages for the promotion of life.

kalqlate
22nd September, 2011 @ 12:02 am PDT

@Jabboson - Thanks. I just came to that conclusion when I got to the end of composing my last response to him. No more, no more. :D

kalqlate
22nd September, 2011 @ 12:05 am PDT

I think it's time to draw a line under this discussion. Thanks : )

editor
22nd September, 2011 @ 12:29 am PDT
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