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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2003 :  11:58:33  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Hi,

How did life form in the first place, according to your theory? I've heard that amino acids are 'the building blocks of life', but where'd they come from? How does inanimate matter become animate?

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2003 :  12:24:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Where did god come from?

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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jmcginn
Skeptic Friend

343 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2003 :  12:33:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit jmcginn's Homepage Send jmcginn a Private Message
hippy4christ,

If you want to understand what is close to the latest knowledge we have dealing with the origins of life (which by the way is a separate theory from the theory of evolution via natural selection) I highly suggest:
The Major Transitions in Evolution (Maynard Smith and Szathmary)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/019850294X/qid=1060197735/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-3344216-2223121?v=glance&s=books
The first 6 chapters deal with this very subject.

The origins of life and the study of abiogenesis is highly chemical in nature and requires a good understanding of organic chemistry. Before I go into detail I would like to know what you know about chemistry, especially organic chemistry (chemistry of carbon), how chemical bonds form, and what the basic classes of biochemicals are (sugars/carbohydrates, proteins, fats/lipids, and nucleic acids) and how they differ.

There is quite a bit of background information required before one can understand they intricies of abiogenesis and I need to know what you know to better explain it. In fact to understand the book I referenced you will need to have a good grasp on the background info I gave above.

Thanks
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nukular
New Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2003 :  12:37:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send nukular a Private Message
The exact nature of the early biosphere is not well known, but stringent limits on the composition of the atmosphere and oceans can be determined by examining various byproducts (such as iron precipitatiion, etc). That said, there are classic experiments describing simple mechanisms which can produce amino acids or partial amino acids. One thing to keep in mind is that reactions involving amino acids are not random (the use of random here relates to the airplane, junkyard, and tornado argument) but proceed along complex but orderly lines. If you are trully interested in knowing what scientists think, a long look at talkorgins.org will help. While not entirely complete, since it is oriented at laypeople, a more thorough understanding can be had by spending some money/time and engage yourself intellectually in a few organic chemistry and molecular biology classes/labs at your local college or university.

While the above doesn't provide the simple answer you are probably looking for, you should note that science is empirical and not in the business of absolute truth (or however various groups abuse the term). As Feynman stated, we are concerned "with what is more likely and what is less likely" based on our knowledge of world around us.
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Snake
SFN Addict

USA
2511 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2003 :  18:50:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Snake's Homepage  Send Snake an ICQ Message  Send Snake a Yahoo! Message Send Snake a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

Hi,

How did life form in the first place, according to your theory? I've heard that amino acids are 'the building blocks of life', but where'd they come from? How does inanimate matter become animate?

Hippy


Haven't you heard! There are no dumb questions.
Only dumb people.
I think yours is a good question.

I've had several related questions for a long time.
Will post later, if anyone doesn't mind.
1st one would be:
After there were cavemen, my knowledge of history is lacking, the next thing I remember learning was about the Egyptians and the start of civilization.
What happened in between that time?
How did we go from living in caves to Doric columns?
(if that's too much to answer, where can I find out-besides taking a history class)
Thank you.
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Baza
New Member

United Kingdom
47 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  02:09:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Baza a Private Message
You explain it in according to creationist theory then.

Baza
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  05:25:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
quote:
After there were cavemen, my knowledge of history is lacking, the next thing I remember learning was about the Egyptians and the start of civilization.
What happened in between that time?


'Cavemen' encompasses maybe 1 million years. There is a lot of information about these people but it is all from their bones, their stone tools and their pottery. Tracing the progression of history at this time is basically seeing the change and developement of the tools.
History really starts with the construction of permanent buildings and more importantly the invention of writting. Until these developments there is not all that much of a story.

If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  05:42:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
No one can say for sure how life started. Well, creationist state with surety how it started. Scientist have recreated how they think the early conditions on earth were and very complicated long chain amino acids and such spontaneously form. This is not life by any stretch of the imagination, but it is very intriguing.
Based on the fossil evidence it seems that almost as soon as the earth was cool enough to support life, it formed. Based on this I would expect that there is some fossil bacterial life to be found on mars. It would answere alot of questions if this evidence were found. However, the odds of finding this evidnce with a few limited robot probes is highly unlikely.
How life started in no way impacts the fact of evolution. If God whipped up the first DNA in his lab and sprinkeled it over the earth, this would have no impact on the theory of evolution over the last 3.5 billions years (except for day 1).

If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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jmcginn
Skeptic Friend

343 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  07:19:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit jmcginn's Homepage Send jmcginn a Private Message
quote:
After there were cavemen, my knowledge of history is lacking, the next thing I remember learning was about the Egyptians and the start of civilization.
What happened in between that time?
How did we go from living in caves to Doric columns?

Snake the answer to your question depends upon where you are talking about, but there is quite a rich archaeological record leading up to the beginning of civilizations.

Also cavemen is an out-dated term as it appears that very little if any of our human ancestors actually lived in caves, although some did appear to use caves as ceremonial shrines or something of that nature.

The record in the Middle East, where the first civilizations appears seems to follow this pattern:
1. Tribes of hunter gatherers, sparcely populated in small nomadic groups.
2. Some groups appear to start to concentrate on certain larger food supplies that makes them somewhat sedentary.
3. Over time (e.g. starting around 10 kya or so in the Middle East) domestication of wild crops and wild animals began (e.g. wheat and goats amongst many others in the Middle East)
4. This led to complete sedentary villages.
5. Over time populations began to grow as food became more plentiful and certain people began to accumulate wealth and certain other people began to do work other than getting food (such as full time arts and craftsmen).
6. Slowly these societies evolved from an egaltarian one to a hierachial one.
7. Then these societies began to evolve into city states.

The main point here in this very simplified view is that agriculture and domestication led the way to the first civilizations. This pattern happened all over the world although at very different times. For instance Native Americans didn't start agriculture until around 2500 ya or so and then the first civilizations such as Teotihuacan began to appear around 2,000 ya.

Also I would highly recommend an intro to archaeology class as opposed to a history class to get this stuff covered as this is all pre-history and that is the primary domain of archaeology. :>

And this is the book I used for my intro to archaeology class:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767411927/qid=1060265831/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_4/104-3344216-2223121?v=glance&s=books
It covers pretty everything your question encompasses in detail all around the world.
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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  11:36:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
I have a comment on cavemen: How did thier paintings on cavewalls last hundreds of thousands of years, when Leonardo da Vinci's paints are already starting to fade? Perhaps cavemen were just people who hid out in caves whenever a civilization crashed, like the Romans when they were overrun by barbarians.

Gorgo: Where did the matter of the universe come from? How about you let me assume that the Almighty is Eternal, and I'll let you do the same for the matter of the universe.

jmcginn: I have a basic understanding of how atoms and molecules fit together, and I took a chemistry course in the 9th grade, so I don't know much right now, but I'm a quick learner. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into them.

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

Lists of Logical Fallacies
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  12:27:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I don't need to assume anything. I don't need to create gods. I can just say that I don't know.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Avenel
Skeptic Friend

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  13:29:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Avenel a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

I have a comment on cavemen: How did thier paintings on cavewalls last hundreds of thousands of years, when Leonardo da Vinci's paints are already starting to fade? Perhaps cavemen were just people who hid out in caves whenever a civilization crashed, like the Romans when they were overrun by barbarians.



The environment of the caves helped preserve the art. The best preserved paintings are found in caves that have low humidity, constant temperature, and minimal airflow. The Lascaux cave paintings are 15,000 to 17,000 years old. The paintings only began to deteriorate after their discovery in 1940. By 1955 damage was beginning to be noticed, leading to the closing of the cave in 1963. Carbon dioxide and water vapor breathed out by visitors was causing acidic condensation on the walls, corroding them. Also, biological contaminants, algae, funguses, molds, bacteria, and mosses began growing in the cave, further adding to the problems.

Leonardo's Last Supper, on the other hand, was deteriorating as early as 1518, due to poor preparation of the fresco.

There is no reason to believe that Romans would flee to Lascaux, France, climb into difficult to reach areas, and paint pictures of animals that had been extinct for millennia, and in a style completely different from that used in Italy in the dark ages.

Edited for spelling.

"How many angels can swim on the head of a beer?" - Roger Ramjet
Edited by - Avenel on 08/07/2003 13:32:14
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9675 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  02:44:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

Gorgo: Where did the matter of the universe come from? How about you let me assume that the Almighty is Eternal, and I'll let you do the same for the matter of the universe.

It's called quantum fluctuation, and it's a property of the Universe. Vacuum is filled with virtual particles, and these may become real particles. That's how you can get something out of nothing.

Basically, energy is "borrowed" from the space-time under a very short time. The energy is used to create particles at the ratio E=mc˛ leaving a permanent debt of energy.
The energy "debt" creates a dent in the space time, and we recognize this dent as gravitation. Gravitation is negative energy, so when we sum up all ((matter+energy) - gravitation) = zero

This is very layman explanation, and generalized.

Edited for formatting and spelling

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 08/08/2003 04:35:23
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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  15:46:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Gorgo: Okay, you can continue saying you don't know, I'll say He always was.

Dr. Mabuse: What are virtual particles? Why is the energy 'borrowed'? Where did the energy come from? Where did the virtual particles come from? How is it that time can be affected? I've heard that time slows down when approaching the speed of light, but why is that? Thank you.

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  23:34:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
You've missed Gorgo's point, hippy, which is that to be a true "seeker for truth," one must be able to say that one has no idea how or why something has occured, but must wait for further investigation to learn what the reality is. Saying "He always was" is not based upon hard evidence or investigation, but is simply an assumption. Saying "I don't know," on the other hand, is completely honest, and makes no assumptions whatsoever. Which is the more rational response to a question like yours: the one which guesses that God exists, or the one which admits to the limitations of human knowledge?

Considering the fact that many Christians consider it a sin to lie, which response is the more Christian one? (Hint: it is, ironically, the response which doesn't falsely assume that God exists.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9675 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2003 :  09:27:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

Dr. Mabuse: What are virtual particles? Why is the energy 'borrowed'? Where did the energy come from? Where did the virtual particles come from? How is it that time can be affected? I've heard that time slows down when approaching the speed of light, but why is that? Thank you.

One of the most popular books in the world is called "A brief history of Time" written by Stephen Hawking. I recommend you read it. There is an illustrated edition of it that is relatively easy to digest, and explains these things far better and more eloquent than I ever could.

Virtual particles are particles that we can not prove exists by trying to measure them. There can be different reasons. What I had in mind when I wrote previous post was that in order to create a particle, you need energy. Energy has to come from somewhere. BUT quantum mechanics allows for a pair of particles (a particle, and its opposite: anti-particle, as in anti-matter) to come into existence and exist for a very short time and then hit each other and annihilate each other, provided that it all happens within a defined (very short) period of time. The level of energy in the Universe is exactly the same after it happened as it was before.
It's impossible to actually measure these particles directly, but there are ways to indirectly prove their existence.

Do you know how a laser works? Ever heard of the term excitation?
An electron "orbits" an atom-nucleus. During these orbits, virtual photons are exchanged between the electron and the proton. These photons only exist within the atom and can not be measured. But if an electron (with more energy than usual) change it's "orbit" to one closer to the nucleus, one of the virtual photons get abundant, and is released from the atom. At that moment the virtual photon becomes real, and it can be measured as a flash of light, like in a laser.

Einsten proved that time is relative. Your perception of time differs from mine, because we are seperate from eachother. If you take two identical clocks and put one a the top of Empire State Building, and place the other in the basement, they will run in different speeds, even if they were identical right down to the atom. The difference is due to gravitation destorts the space-time continuum, and speed does too. Gravitation and relativity is also mentioned in "A Brief History of Time".

The exact process of the hows and whys in theory of relativity and quantum mechanics are still occupying the brightest scientists.

The ordinary human does not have to deal with sub-atomic particles and time-quanta and the correlation between space and time and speed as described in the theory of relativity. Therefore, our common sense has not evolved to deal with it. That's why relativity and quantum mechanics does not make any sense at first glance. Or second. It demands a lot of intuition.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 08/10/2003 09:30:37
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