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scitsofreaky
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Ok, I know I am probably beating a dead horse (good, I hate horses :Duivel7: ), but I haven't seen any "official"-ish response to the statistical argument agaisnt the ranodom (or so they claim) genesis of life. Does anybody have a link, or access to any good article that rebuffs this argument? This argument bothers me because it just seems so, well, bogus, but I don't have anything to respond with because I just don't have the knowledge base and I'm not sure where to look. (I just now thought of talk.origins, probably a good place to start. I'll check.)

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Here's my tuppence...

First, you can play all the numbers games you want, but there is simply no way anyone can truly make a guess at the probability of life since we only have a sample size of one. No one can calculate a probability from that.

Now, if we find clear evidence of life on Mars, the likelihood goes up... and if we were to find life on an environment as different as, say, Europa, the probability would skyrocket.

 

Many of the arguments I've seen from the religious is that the chemistry of DNA is so complex that it is mathematically impossible for complex hydrocarbons to have been brewed up and then assembled into amino acids and those to have assembled into DNA all by accident even in the 4 or 5 billion years of geological history.

 

First, this is also false math since there is no adequate way to judge how long it takes for amino acids to form "by accident".

 

Second, it is entirely moot, since hydrocarbons did not have to brew up by accident anyway.

 

Astrochemists have long predicted that nova activity could create complex proteins. Since 1998 or so, newer ground-based telescopes and space-based 'scopes have taken spectroscopies of supernova nebula and found not only hydrocarbons but complete amino acids.

 

So, the building blocks of DNA were already a part of our planet when it was being formed. In fact, it appears that amino acids may be in the gases that made up all the planets in the galaxy.

 

Still, it comes down to how likely it is for all that DNA stuff to actually turn into "life as we know it". And without a statistically significant sample size, there is no way to calculate a probability.

There's not even enough data yet to make a reasonable guess.

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Alrighty then. So I did find a good article (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html). But if anyone has any additional articles, they are certainly welcome :)

 

So, the building blocks of DNA were already a part of our planet when it was being formed. In fact, it appears that amino acids may be in the gases that made up all the planets in the galaxy
Oh yeah, I even put up an article on this. :Doh:
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It just confirms that there is some sort of Creator who had some sort of idea of how life would develop. I find this all very fascinating.

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txv, that meteorite is entirely irrelevant -- and even if it were relevant, the uncertainty of its evidence means it must be discounted as an argument for either side.

 

Secondly, our left-twisty biology can certainly be the result of selection (evo-lution, that is).

But we don't even need that to explain it... check out Science News (Aug 1, 1998) for information on polarized starlight producing such bias even in interstellar space. Which could also explain the meteorite, come to think of it.

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Yeah Cath, I read that. Would you care to post the amazing percentile value of that bias?

 

Chirality is a deal breaker. So is cytosine. The whole abio-origins issue is fabulously impossible. If it were not, thousands of labs would be easily duplicating what was supposed to have happened by random, accidental and undefinable natural processes. Speculation about this stuff is light years away from real science.

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Wow viper, you really got us.

The whole abio-origins issue is fabulously impossible
Speculation about this stuff is light years away from real science.
Oh man, I am always amused when people use these phrases (the fabulously was a nice touch). To use the word impossible is laughable unless you have complete knowledge of the subject. I can just as easily say it is impossible for your God to exist. To use "impossible" destroys any credibility you had (not that you really had any).
If it were not, thousands of labs would be easily duplicating what was supposed to have happened by random, accidental and undefinable natural processes.
So, since we haven't done it yet, we obviously can't?
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Ok, I know I am probably beating a dead horse (good, I hate horses :Duivel7: ), but I haven't seen any "official"-ish response to the statistical argument agaisnt the ranodom (or so they claim) genesis of life.

 

The probability of life forming within the history of the universe is 100%.

 

...hope that helps.

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You might enjoy this. You need to understand the chirality issue anyway, since it is yet another turd in your omelet.

 

http://www.astrobio.net/news/article375.html

So, um, what exactly is this supposed to prove anyway? Most of the article is just about how a couple of scientists disagree with a couple of other scientists' results. So what? Hansolo's article demonstrates that at least some of the materials for forming amino acids can be found in the systems themselves, so there may be no need for a meteorite any way (hence that is just one theory).

Oh, and what does this have to do with the original topic any way? This article never refers to the statistical probability of life forming. The closest you got to the topic was saying that crap, "[A]bio-origins issue is fabulously impossible," and I've already made my thoughts clear on that.

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You might enjoy this. You need to understand the chirality issue anyway, since it is yet another turd in your omelet.

 

http://www.astrobio.net/news/article375.html

You know, the chirality thing sounds ominously familar... Oh yeah... we went through this with TJR and his claim that chirality proves abiogenesis is impossible.

 

As was pointed out to him then, there is strong evidence that the first amino acid was left orientated... and that it "set the standard" for all other amino acids. http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/0...oks.chiral.html

 

 

 

Apart from the fact that it shows tx isn't up to speed on the subject, it shows that chirality isn't anywhere near the "turd in our omelet" that he wants it to be...

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Reductionism & Reducible Complexity

The role of chance in abiogenesis is the actual topic of discussion in the debate of IC (irreducible complexity) against RC (reducible complexity). IC can be seen as merely suggesting that supernatural influences are necessary. However, to give our opponents more credit, it can be formulated in other way. Namely in terms of improbability in terms of probability theory.

 

IC states that there are at least sets of simultaneous mutations needed to get some biological systems. Or in other words that incremental adding of mutations does not lead to every system known nowadays. It is appropriate to investigate sequences of additions and deletions too. Such a sequence can be presented by a Markov Model (HMM) for example.

 

When the machine is in a certain state several events can occur having each some chance. There is a certain chance that an addition occurs, a deletion, an insertion or an alteration. The biggest chance is that it remains in that state (in this case). The transition probabilities are in a HMM added to the edges between the states. Someone can calculate the probability that BOY can be generated from GIRL by only addition and deletion of letters while staying in the English dictionary. Moreover the most likely sequence (or shortest path between BOY and GIRL) can be found by the Viterbi algorithm. It is a hidden Markov model because we can not be sure about the sequences in which additions and deletions took place, but we can calculate the probabilities for the different sequences.

 

This however, is already about systems that in some way managed to be reproducing and adapting. Abiogenesis can also follow the principles of reductionism. Chance plays her role again.

 

Reductionism & Abiogenesis

Firstly, not much is know about the circumstances in which life awoke. In "the fifth miracle" descibes Davies a theory in which life originated from places hidden deep in the earth and bottom of the sea. Exotic bacteria can survive all kind of circumstances. However, maybe they aren't so exotic at all, and fitted best in the described environment. The actual exotics is the remaining known biological world living at the surface.

 

A self-replicating peptide does exist out of a long sequence of amino acids. In the model the attraction of some amino acid to another has to be modeled. Also the lifetimes of constituents of this peptide existing out of only a few necessary amino acids have to be taken into acount. Just taken the amount of possible amino acids types (e.g. 12) and multiply (1/12) x times doesn't give a valid solution. Pascal already discovered that while we have to wait very long before we see all possible combinations, only one specific combination can occur surprisingly fast. That's why Pascal's random variable exist. A chance number can be attached to that.

 

Unfortunately, that's not everything, what's the chance that these amino acids meet each other in this capacious ocean? These events can probably be modelled by a Poison process, or even a Brownian motion process (that takes continuous stochastics into account).

 

IMHO it will once be possible to embed all these probability variables in one model, but I think it's a bit prematurely to have doubt or certainty about it yet. This can only be fed by other motives not originating from the math.

 

See also the threads:

[1] Knowledge

[2] The Primary Dilemma of Irreducible Complexity

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I have a suggestion: GODITIT!

 

There, all questions answered, all problems solved.

 

Thanks anyway scientific inquiry, but some of us already know everything - GODITIT!

 

Or should I say, GODIDIOT?

 

Eh, what's the difference?

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I have a suggestion: GODITIT!

 

There, all questions answered, all problems solved.

 

Thanks anyway scientific inquiry, but some of us already know everything - GODITIT!

 

Or should I say, GODIDIOT?

 

Eh, what's the difference?

 

:lmao::lmao: :lmao:

 

Dave, have I told you lately that you're my hero? :grin:

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