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In view of the attitude of moderators to other threads, I would suggest that all that science at present has about the origins of life per se are several poorly developed and highly speculative theories, and that this thread therefore does not belong in "physics" -- at best it belongs in a biology discussion, but more probably in "new theories".
I would have only a minor problem with the thread being moved to "General Science". I do have a problem with this sort of thing being seen as part of the domain of physics, and with far flung and inadequately justified speculations being considered part of the science of physics. (Physicists have a habit of laying claim to expertise in various areas of science, and of failing to recognise the specific expertise of other specialists who associate with the "lesser" sciences).
My secondary problem, which I would not really want to make an issue of, is that this sort of discussion which is not, and currently cannot be backed by any observational or experimental evidence, is so speculative that it is really philosophy rather than science, and should therefore be in the "new theories" forum. Alternatively the moderators need to rethink their attempts to relegate the SR discussion -- much more observationally based -- to the physics forum.
None of this proves at all how life formed, of course, and there are huge gaps in the understanding, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss the science that does exist in between those gaps.
We are all made of atoms, at what scale do we stop being sterile and become life?
QuoteWe are all made of atoms, at what scale do we stop being sterile and become life?Higher order hierarchy: biochemistry to biology.
I disagree. There are definitely some rough connections you can draw from the big bang to the formation of the elements for example, and from the formation of the elements to inorganic chemistry,
... Everywhere we look we see small reactions that tend to mimic or duplicate processes we see in life.
The universe does have a set of rules and these have led directly to life. The four fundamental forces, the family of elementary particles and a small group of constants (read Martin Rees's Just Six Numbers) are what has made it possible for life to emerge from a sea of energy via some complex, but apparently inevitable processes. (If one wished to make an argument for a creator the best evidence lies in the fortuitous combination of forces, particles and constants.)
Quote from: Ophiolite on 25/09/2012 06:22:59The universe does have a set of rules and these have led directly to life. The four fundamental forces, the family of elementary particles and a small group of constants (read Martin Rees's Just Six Numbers) are what has made it possible for life to emerge from a sea of energy via some complex, but apparently inevitable processes. (If one wished to make an argument for a creator the best evidence lies in the fortuitous combination of forces, particles and constants.)I don't know about that, I was under the impression that the argument of the fortuitous combination of forces, particles and constants, as you say, had never held much sway with respect to the scientific method. Isn't that what you mean when you say "There seems to be, in the universe, and inherent tendency to build complexity out of simplicity....It is not a popular view and it is at odds with the current methodological naturalism of the scientific method..."?
And all of this is philosophical debate rather than scientific, and probably should be consigned to a different area of the forums. (But I note that the Physics forum here, in particular, often diverts into speculative and philosophical debate well removed from any real science content).
There is a fourth alternative for Damocles' options. Neither accept nor reject teleology from science, simply consider the possibility it may be active and, from time to time, look for evidence. If we don't look we will assuredly not find and there is more evidence for it than there is for green unicorns. (And I say two of them only yesterday.)
...(snip)... And that was a interesting comment Damocles, "Physics generally raises quite different philosophical issues, and chemistry raises several quite unique and little explored ones." Not physics but what you said about chemistry? Could you give us a example of what you think of?
What a fasinating subject we have here....To take the nuts and bolts of this topic that particles can be arranged in such a way so as to be able to attempt to understand themselves is brilliant, i.e humans.I find the idea of how we are, where we are in evolution at this point extremely hard to believe. I mean in such a miniscule amount of time we have become the machines we are. Not just a form of life or an arrangement of particles but a machine that has a conscious, but not just that, a machine that interacts with itself on a biological level of phenominal complication as any good medical physiology book will emphasise. Assuming that evolution is not near its end the future of life and this universe and its connection are something to behold .....Ace
Do you consider 3,500,000,000 years plus a miniscule amount of time. If we consider the first eukaryotes came in around 2 billion years ago and the average generation time for a prokaryote is one hour, then that's 1.3 * 10^13 generations to develop all the interesting stuff.
So are you saying water is alive then or partly alive?
As for stars once again are they alive? i dont think so like the explanation i gave above they are merely the paint and not the picture.
I think asking the question "when did life start?" is like asking "when did humans start?". There is no point in history when an ape gave birth to a human. Each generation looked pretty much the same as the several hundred either side of it.I think matter just combines in more and more exotic forms and the forms that continue are the ones that can re-produce themselves. We label these forms as "life" but to me it's a fairly arbitrary term.
I think matter just combines in more and more exotic forms and the forms that continue are the ones that can re-produce themselves. We label these forms as "life" but to me it's a fairly arbitrary term.
I see where your coming from ophiolite, stars do evolve in a sense but to compare that evolution to life concerns me.
Compared to a living being they are born and go through all their different stages to death, but if you see my point they are not changing from one generation to the next becoming more complex ie as we have gone from being monkeys who walked on all fours to people who can communicate.
Moving on id say the point of life starts when conciousness is first available. Without this i dont believe a soup of chemicals can know to evolve. Reactions can take place between elements and molecules through the laws of physics and chemistry but for a structure to know it must evolve is something more.