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Advances in the science of abiogenesis

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  • #31
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Come on Teallaura, you know better, scientists in any discipline do no consider 'design' issues in the manner the bogus scientists of the Discovery Institute consider 'design.'

    Your bogus argument is based on a religious agenda, and science does not have any religious agenda one way or the other.
    Why are you so repetitive? Are you incapable of making your own responses.

    And science is still not a person and methodology still matters - and not being able to recognize that latter fact means you are not much of a scientist.

    Designing a test still introduces intellect. Sometimes, the methodological issues are really thorny.

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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    • #32
      Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
      Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about situations where the conditions chosen for the modeling are based on those planetary scientists have concluded are likely to be present on the early Earth? That's really quite constrained for the researchers, and doesn't give them a lot of choice in terms of what they can set up in their model reactions — there's not much "intellect" involved, to use your terminology. But it does depend on the scientific conclusions of other people (although those are also quite constrained, obviously).
      If we're talking about methodology, I don't see how you get around the problem with any modeling - human decisions are inherent to the process and trying to evaluate a complex system is gonna have significant hurdles - no one bats 1000.

      It's very similar to weighting (in character, not use) in that it may/can work just fine but there's an inherent uncertainty that eventually comes back to bite. Like weighting, one is probably best advised to use it judiciously.

      Also, like weighting in modern polling, it's easy to get sooooo excited by the new shiny toy that you (general) start overusing it. See Shuny's posts above - he's freaking because I said his shiny has a crack in it - I never even said it was necessarily wrong. That said, modelling may not be the best approach to a problem like abiogenesis -at least not en toto.

      So, as methodology, I am not convinced modelling is a good plan with complex systems en toto but I can see where it could be very useful - within its limitations - in component processes. I'm also not ready to rule out en toto.

      But if we're talking about actually proving naturalism, which is what Shuny is all excited about, modelling is worthless. The model, no matter how constrained, is designed and won't fly philosophically or logically. You (general) can't prove a system isn't designed by using design.
      Last edited by Teallaura; 10-01-2019, 10:53 AM.

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        If we're talking about methodology, I don't see how you get around the problem with any modeling - human decisions are inherent to the process and trying to evaluate a complex system is gonna have significant hurdles - no one bats 1000.

        It's very similar to weighting (in character, not use) in that it may/can work just fine but there's an inherent uncertainty that eventually comes back to bite. Like weighting, one is probably best advised to use it judiciously.

        Also, like weighting in modern polling, it's easy to get sooooo excited by the new shiny toy that you (general) start overusing it. See Shuny's posts above - he's freaking because I said his shiny has a crack in it - I never even said it was necessarily wrong. That said, modelling may not be the best approach to a problem like abiogenesis -at least not en toto.

        So, as methodology, I am not convinced modelling is a good plan with complex systems en toto but I can see where it could be very useful - within its limitations - in component processes. I'm also not ready to rule out en toto.

        But if we're talking about actually proving naturalism, which is what Shuny is all excited about, modelling is worthless. The model, no matter how constrained, is designed and won't fly philosophically or logically. You (general) can't prove a system isn't designed by using design.
        That doesn't really address my question. There are ways to largely take human decision making out of the process of modeling. The only decision could potentially be "we'll use the conditions that were likely to be present on the early Earth", which is an extremely constrained decision, and isn't what we'd typically consider design. (As in, it would be like saying "aha, the dirt was designed!" if the conditions were "we grew the plants in the dirt we had in our back yard".)

        This is not to say "this would disprove design", but more to say "the issue of design was irrelevant to this experiment."
        "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
          That doesn't really address my question. There are ways to largely take human decision making out of the process of modeling. The only decision could potentially be "we'll use the conditions that were likely to be present on the early Earth", which is an extremely constrained decision, and isn't what we'd typically consider design. (As in, it would be like saying "aha, the dirt was designed!" if the conditions were "we grew the plants in the dirt we had in our back yard".)

          This is not to say "this would disprove design", but more to say "the issue of design was irrelevant to this experiment."
          I disagree that it's possible to take human decision making out of a designed model - I suspect you mean estimation/assumption which can be minimized by agreed fact (differentiating from disputed) but that's merely a step removed from the programming itself. Any model has human decision making in it. That's not an inherent flaw - but it is an inherent weakness - in methodology where design as a theory isn't at issue.

          As a matter of a proof of naturalism (or even as an attempt to disprove) design is at issue and we seem to agree it's at least a separate issue.

          So, I think you're asking about modelling as methodology, where I think the necessary act of design is an inherent weakness that needs to be addressed, as opposed to modelling for the purpose of disproving design as a theory. Yes?

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            I disagree that it's possible to take human decision making out of a designed model - I suspect you mean estimation/assumption which can be minimized by agreed fact (differentiating from disputed) but that's merely a step removed from the programming itself. Any model has human decision making in it. That's not an inherent flaw - but it is an inherent weakness - in methodology where design as a theory isn't at issue.
            Couple of things there. One, i'm not sure what "design as a theory" means, given that there's no real theoretical framework that involves design.

            But more generally, i don't think human decision making in a context like the one i'm discussing is a weakness, but simply something that needs to be disclosed. Something like "we assumed warm, aqueous conditions and the atmospheric concentrations of the early earth", so you can distinguish that work from similar reactions performed using dry conditions. That's not much of a "human decision causing a weakness", given that both conditions certainly existed on the early earth. But they are important contexts that need to be considered when integrating the research into our larger body of know

            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            ISo, I think you're asking about modelling as methodology, where I think the necessary act of design is an inherent weakness that needs to be addressed, as opposed to modelling for the purpose of disproving design as a theory. Yes?
            Well, you've not specified anything in the examples i've given that constitutes a "necessary act of design". And, as noted above, there is no "design as a theory" to disprove. So, i'm not really understanding your issues here.

            Let me try putting it this way: we can set up experiments where the conditions are only dictated by the rules of physics, chemistry, and the composition of the early earth. All the decisions involved are essentially taken out of humanity's hands, other than the decision to follow those rules in the first place. Is that single choice - to obey natural laws - enough for you to consider the entire experiment designed, and subjected to whatever weaknesses you consider that to imply?
            "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
              Couple of things there. One, i'm not sure what "design as a theory" means, given that there's no real theoretical framework that involves design.

              But more generally, i don't think human decision making in a context like the one i'm discussing is a weakness, but simply something that needs to be disclosed. Something like "we assumed warm, aqueous conditions and the atmospheric concentrations of the early earth", so you can distinguish that work from similar reactions performed using dry conditions. That's not much of a "human decision causing a weakness", given that both conditions certainly existed on the early earth. But they are important contexts that need to be considered when integrating the research into our larger body of know
              There's another reason for disclosure - most basic of all, it's where we spot error.

              All experimentation has some limitation (weakness) - and it's usually on the oculus end of the microscope (funny and irrelevant anecdote - I once got a call from the microscopist - the expert - who was inspecting my darkfield scope while I was in another county - he couldn't get it back together. I had to do it when I got back - and I am not an expert). Modelling has that same weakness but it seems somewhat exacerbated and likely is. We tend to second guess ourselves before the computer - but not if we think the computer is remote from that error - when it can never perfectly be that remote.

              I see it as something to be cognizant of and reason to be judicious and cautious - not reason to scrap the concept. Like weighting, modelling can be a useful tool. Like weighting, the necessary presence of people can run it off the rails.



              Well, you've not specified anything in the examples i've given that constitutes a "necessary act of design". And, as noted above, there is no "design as a theory" to disprove. So, i'm not really understanding your issues here.
              Computer programming and criteria selection. Don't see a way to do computer modeling without both.

              The design is in the model itself.

              Let me try putting it this way: we can set up experiments where the conditions are only dictated by the rules of physics, chemistry, and the composition of the early earth. All the decisions involved are essentially taken out of humanity's hands, other than the decision to follow those rules in the first place. Is that single choice - to obey natural laws - enough for you to consider the entire experiment designed, and subjected to whatever weaknesses you consider that to imply?
              Yes - because it isn't 'that single choice' - literally cannot be. If it were, what would you (general) be testing? Gravity? Chemistry?

              No, modelling tests some interaction of variables - and there we are gonna end up making some choices for testing. (And I'm skipping the epistemology debate about the early earth - thought I didn't notice! )

              Leave out design in theory (is too ) - what I'm saying is there is always the option for error/skew - like all the rest of us, scientists come in size human - and I see no way to completely avoid that in modelling. In complex systems considered en toto, it likely affects how much confidence we should be placing in results. Computers actually mess with repeatability as safeguard - the dumb things will perfectly repeat the same dumb thing we told it to do.

              Also, I'm not objecting to the methodology of modelling but merely pointing out concerns.

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Modelling has that same weakness but it seems somewhat exacerbated and likely is. We tend to second guess ourselves before the computer - but not if we think the computer is remote from that error - when it can never perfectly be that remote.
                But i'm not talking computer modeling. I'm talking modeling the conditions on a prebiotic, early earth using actual chemicals, and seeing which reactions take place. That's how origin of life experiments are done.
                "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                  But i'm not talking computer modeling. I'm talking modeling the conditions on a prebiotic, early earth using actual chemicals, and seeing which reactions take place. That's how origin of life experiments are done.
                  Okay, it's been a while but I thought Shuny's article was about a computer model (I did read it - back in the Triassic... ).

                  The problem persists because humans be humans - there's always the potential for skew/error when people design anything, including experiments. But the exacerbation I suspect occurs in computer modelling wouldn't be at issue.

                  Beyond that I don't want to tackle epistemological questions outside specifics - you touched on the same several posts ago.


                  Hopefully that covers it. If not, may be a day or two before I get back to this - not feeling well today and I probably should tackle this fresh.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                    Why are you so repetitive? Are you incapable of making your own responses.

                    And science is still not a person and methodology still matters - and not being able to recognize that latter fact means you are not much of a scientist.

                    Designing a test still introduces intellect. Sometimes, the methodological issues are really thorny.
                    The introduction of intelligence is human intelligence. Science is descriptive using theories, hypothesis, and models to simulate natural process based on the nature and limits of the Laws of Nature. The only intelligence involved in science is human intelligence.
                    Last edited by shunyadragon; 10-02-2019, 10:38 PM.
                    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                    go with the flow the river knows . . .

                    Frank

                    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                      The introduction of intelligence is human intelligence. Science is descriptive using theories, hypothesis, and models to simulate natural process based on the nature and limits of the Laws of Nature. The only intelligence involved in science is human intelligence.
                      Which defeats your postulate. One cannot use design to disprove design.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                        Which defeats your postulate. One cannot use design to disprove design.
                        There is no effort to disprove Intelligent Design by science.

                        Science does not prove nor disprove anything. The Discovery Institute for Intelligent design has failed to provide any falsifiable hypothesis to support Intelligent Design.

                        Still waiting . . .
                        Last edited by shunyadragon; 10-03-2019, 08:14 PM.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                          The problem persists because humans be humans - there's always the potential for skew/error when people design anything, including experiments. But the exacerbation I suspect occurs in computer modelling wouldn't be at issue.

                          Beyond that I don't want to tackle epistemological questions outside specifics - you touched on the same several posts ago.
                          Hope you're feeling better.

                          Specifics are kind of what i'm asking for. I accept that any science is liable to error - it's done by humans, after all. But you keep saying "skew" is a risk, and you keep calling experiments like this designed, and i'm asking for specifics: what exactly could be skewed when an experiment is (to give a hypothetical) just starting with a bunch of chemicals that we've observed on comets? What's the element of design in doing that?
                          "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                            Hope you're feeling better.

                            Specifics are kind of what i'm asking for. I accept that any science is liable to error - it's done by humans, after all. But you keep saying "skew" is a risk, and you keep calling experiments like this designed, and i'm asking for specifics: what exactly could be skewed when an experiment is (to give a hypothetical) just starting with a bunch of chemicals that we've observed on comets? What's the element of design in doing that?
                            Thanks!


                            We know (in the epistemological sense) comets represent the early earth? The weakest link in any argument is the assumptions it's predicated on - like assuming (I'm presuming with darn good reason) that comets reflect the early earth.

                            I'm arguing two different things - and we seem to agree on one. Intellect/design/human propensity for error are interlinked in my argument regarding methodology. And you hit on it with "it's done by humans, after all". Operative term is 'done'. Intellect (where we started this) is integral to experimentation - someone has to figure out how to neutrally contain all those comet chemicals at the very least. Designing an experiment is in fact a form of design.

                            For methodology - selecting which chemicals go in which cup and in what amounts and when they will be combined - all that 'design' - my point is merely that we humans not only make factual errors but errors of assumption - the later will be most likely in the design phase. For example, are we using comets or ice cores to guide our choices in what experiment to do. Our assumptions of how well each reflects the early earth guides the choice - but even well founded assumptions can be wrong.

                            Your example 'starts' at the end - we've decided comets work best and are ready to start mixing stuff. But the design phase beings well before we're slinging flasks around (chem lab is not for the faint of heart - at least it wasn't at NMIMT!) - it's in the decision making, not the flasks.




                            The second argument is the one with Shuny about using a designed experiment of any sort to prove naturalism (can't). That hasn't diddly-squat to do with experimental design (other than the fact of) or methodology. And no, it's of no issue with what you pour in your flasks.

                            Hmm, was that the problem? Design comes into play in both but in vastly different ways.


                            With 50,000 and counting, I get the feeling sometimes that English needs more words!
                            Last edited by Teallaura; 10-03-2019, 11:33 PM.

                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Back to REAL science.

                              Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02622-4



                              Lab-made primordial soup yields RNA bases

                              The chemical feat strengthens theory that the first life on Earth was based on RNA.


                              Single strand ribonucleic acid, RNA research and therapy.
                              RNA has been synthesized in conditions that may have resembled those on the early Earth.Credit: Alamy

                              If Thomas Carell is right, around 4 billion years ago, much of Earth might have been blanketed with a greyish-brown kind of mineral. This was no ordinary rock, however: it consisted of crystals of the organic molecules that scientists now call A, U, C and G. And some of these, the theory goes, would later serve as the building blocks of RNA, the evolutionary engine of the first living organisms, before DNA existed.

                              Carell, an organic chemist, and his collaborators have now demonstrated a chemical pathway that — in principle — could have made A, U, C and G (adenine, uracil, cytosine and guanine, respectively) from basic ingredients such as water and nitrogen under conditions that would have been plausible on the early Earth. The reactions produce so much of these nucleobases that, millennium after millennium, they could have accumulated in thick crusts, Carell says. His team describes the results in Science on 3 October1.

                              The results add credence to the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis, says Carell, who is at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. This idea suggests that life arose from self-replicating, RNA-based genes — and that only later did organisms develop the ability to store genetic information in the molecule’s close relative, DNA. The chemistry is also a “strong indication” that the appearance of RNA-based life was not an exceedingly lucky event, but one that is likely to happen on many other planets, he adds.

                              In previous work in 2016, Carell’s team had found chemical reactions that spontaneously yielded the nucleobases A and G2. A separate group had done a similar proof-of-principle3 for the other two, U and C in 2009. But the two pathways seemed incompatible with each other, requiring different conditions, such as divergent temperatures and pH.

                              Now, Carell’s team has shown how all nucleobases could form under one set of conditions: two separate ponds that cycle through the seasons, going from wet to dry, from hot to cold, and from acidic to basic, and with chemicals occasionally flowing from one pond to the other. The researchers first let simple molecules react in hot water and then allowed the resulting mix to cool down and dry up, forming a residue at the bottom that contained crystals of two organic compounds.

                              They then added water back, and one of the compounds dissolved and was washed away into another reservoir. The absence of that water-soluble molecule allowed the other compound to undergo further reactions. The researchers then mixed the products again, and their reactions formed the nucleobases.

                              “This paper has demonstrated marvellously the chemistry that needs to take place so you can make all the RNA nucleosides,” says Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, a chemist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California. But he and other researchers often warn that this and similar results are based on hindsight and might not offer credible guidance as to how life actually evolved.

                              The next major problem Carell wants to tackle is what reactions could have formed the sugar ribose, which needs to link to nucleobases before RNA can form.

                              References

                              1. Becker, S. et al. Science 366, 76–82 (2019).

                              Google Scholar

                              2. Becker, S. et al. Science 352, 833–836 (2016).

                              Pub Med Article Google Scholar

                              3. Powner, M. W., Gerland, B. & Sutherland, J. D. Nature 459, 239–242 (2009).

                              © Copyright Original Source

                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Source: https://www.rt.com/news/470167-saturn-moon-precursors-life/



                                ‘Ideal precursors’ of LIFE found on Saturn’s icy ocean moon, scientists say

                                Deep under its frozen primordial oceans, Saturn’s moon Enceladus may conceal the building blocks for life, according to recent research. The finding raises exciting new questions about whether mankind is alone in the cosmos.
                                Scouring vast amounts of data transmitted by NASA’s Cassini probe, researchers discovered Enceladus was emitting “new kinds of organic compounds” in ice plumes ejected from its subsurface oceans. The substances could make “ideal precursors” for the “synthesis of biologically relevant organic compounds,” including amino acids, which make up proteins and play a litany of other roles in life as Earthlings know it.

                                The researchers posited that hydrothermal vents under Enceladus’ oceans are responsible for pushing the compounds into the ice plumes analyzed by Cassini, and said if those vents operate under similar principles to those found on Earth, they could eventually transform the chemicals into amino acids.

                                © Copyright Original Source

                                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                                Frank

                                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                                Comment

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