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#1 fast eddie

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:37 PM

Since I don't find the notion of Intelligent Design a satisfactory explanation, just what is a good encapsulation of the process that resulted in the rise of life on Earth? Are new lifeforms slowly arising from nonlife all the time, and if not, why not? What's a good book on the subject??? 


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#2 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:07 PM

I've never really seen a treatment of this that wasn't particularly technical.  Basically, RNA strands likely started randomly being generated by Earth's chemistry 4 billion-ish years ago, and some of them started replicating and taking resources from the nearby environment.  

Eventually, after a few million years, the RNA strands whose instructions involved things like making cell membranes and replicating in a particular way (including the use of DNA and more sophisticated proteins) started to gobble up more of those resources (resources specifically out of vents in the ocean or hot springs; basically mineral-rich sources of water).  Most of this was happening in tidal pools, volcanic ponds, or potentially the ocean floor.

From that point on, the bacteria generated ecosystems and niches which allowed some of them to grow more complex, eventually becoming organisms, and some just kept replicating as bacteria because, hey, it's a living.


labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#3 Moving Target

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

What Reb said.

I would add that things looking very similar to cell walls will appear within 48 hours in a test tube if you apply to it what we think were the conditions on primordial Earth.

The jump from fatty acid chains to RNA is a bit of a mystery, as is the jump from procaryotic cells to eucaryotes.

But it seems reasonable to say that given long enough in the Goldilocks Zone round any given star, a self-replicating molecule will organise from simple organic compounds which are ubiquitous in nature, and then boom, it’s only a matter of time before complex life evolves.

#4 MrSkeptic

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 10:26 PM

I've never really seen a treatment of this that wasn't particularly technical.  Basically, RNA strands likely started randomly being generated by Earth's chemistry 4 billion-ish years ago, and some of them started replicating and taking resources from the nearby environment.  

Eventually, after a few million years, the RNA strands whose instructions involved things like making cell membranes and replicating in a particular way (including the use of DNA and more sophisticated proteins) started to gobble up more of those resources (resources specifically out of vents in the ocean or hot springs; basically mineral-rich sources of water).  Most of this was happening in tidal pools, volcanic ponds, or potentially the ocean floor.

From that point on, the bacteria generated ecosystems and niches which allowed some of them to grow more complex, eventually becoming organisms, and some just kept replicating as bacteria because, hey, it's a living.

 

That can't be right because the Earth is only about 6,000 years old so there hasn't been time for those events to take place. Unless God himself did it.  :o


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#5 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 12:10 AM

That can't be right because the Earth is only about 6,000 years old so there hasn't been time for those events to take place. Unless God himself did it.  :o

God's a good enough chemist, but given the number of spills, I have to hope he's following proper lab safety procedures.


labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#6 The Macallan

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

Plenty of time for all that to happen in 6,000 years. See below handy dandy chart from the Creationist Museum 

 

 

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#7 Slim

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 02:25 PM

Since I don't find the notion of Intelligent Design a satisfactory explanation, just what is a good encapsulation of the process that resulted in the rise of life on Earth? Are new lifeforms slowly arising from nonlife all the time, and if not, why not? What's a good book on the subject??? 

 

Your second question is quite interesting. As far as I can tell the prevailing wisdom is that all life on Earth originates from a single abiogenesis event - because it's all demonstrably related. We share some of our DNA with plant life like rice and grass. All species have a single ancestor, so you're literally related to a mushroom.

 

It's possible that other abiogenesis events occurred, but whatever extremely simple organism may have ensued from them wasn't able to compete for resources with existing organic life. A crude organism that might, in other circumstances, have gone on to spawn an intelligent civilisation might have been eaten by a microbe.

 

The conditions on Earth were very different a few billion years ago, as well.



#8 Three Eyes

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:57 PM

Well that explains this guy.

 

the_mushroom_man_by_majklpussyk.jpg


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#9 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:45 PM

As far as I can tell the prevailing wisdom is that all life on Earth originates from a single abiogenesis event - because it's all demonstrably related. We share some of our DNA with plant life like rice and grass. All species have a single ancestor, so you're literally related to a mushroom.

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.


labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#10 Moving Target

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 06:34 PM

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.


I loved The Invisibles. The bits I understood anyway.

Sure, Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis. Cells to tissues to organs to organisms to families to tribes to species to ecosystems to biosphere. Fritjof Capra talked about this too in The Turning Point.

#11 Slim

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 09:24 PM

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.

 

Actually that was what I meant - I'm no expert, but I don't really see how it could be otherwise.



#12 jeffro

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

God's a good enough chemist, but given the number of spills, I have to hope he's following proper lab safety procedures.

 

Heaven might be a Superfund site


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#13 jeffro

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:06 PM

How did life begin? 

 

Well, let's see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it.


Pure fat, topped with a layer of fat - Alex Lifeson

 

The sewer pipe queen

Dangles my dream
Makes all that I've seen
Seem so obscene - Kings X, Skeptical Winds


#14 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:49 AM


labente deinde paulatim disciplina velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire coeperint praecipites, donec ad haec tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est.

 

First our declining morals slid, bit by bit, and then our very national spirit.  Then the collapse became greater and greater, and our principles began to go, until at last, it has come to this age, in which we can bear neither our crimes nor the cure for them.

 
 

#15 Nunavuter

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 06:33 AM

One of the oddities of chemistry is that abiogenesis is extremely unlikely to occur once life exists in the same environment.  The delicate circumstances that would permit a self-replicating molecular system to emerge don't exist once self-replicating molecules are around. 


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#16 Nunavuter

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:14 PM

Not to get pedantic. but life is by definition a complex molecular system the replicates itself, and actively consumes other molecules in the process of sustaining and replicating itself.

Once such molecular systems are in place, all available resources will be exploited by them. This is why you do not see abiogenesis now. Every resource abiogenesis would require is taken long before abiogenesis could occur. Life begets life, but it also prevents competing threads of life from emerging. 


I nukshuk, You nukshuk. We all nukshuk.


#17 Wandering Hermit

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 11:40 PM

Greetings Nuna, nice to see you again.

 

I don't have anything to say about ultimate origins, though I do have a comment about what happened after that... we just got back from spending five days in the Galapagos, and it was a religious experience, to say the least. We identified six different "Darwin" finch species, and they represented more of a continuum than a set of well-defined categories, although the further points of the distributions were all quite dissimilar. 


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