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An informational approach to the origin of life.

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  • An informational approach to the origin of life.

    Gidday All, particularly Jorge,


    About the only ones who are doing anything to try and develop models which offer scientific explanations for the origin of life, are scientists.



    As has been noted on many occasions, this is a very complex problem and to date, no good theory for the origin of life has been established, although work continues to make progress. Historically this has been tackled largely by physicists and chemists looking for plausible physical conditions, and chemical routes by which life could have arisen.

    Here is a new twist.

    I’m posting this for four reasons:-

    1) One reason is mischievous because I am aware of a few YECs on various forums who often let us know that they are interested in the informational aspects of life’s origins. In two cases, one YEC once boasted about some calculations from the ID field, and that he would post said calculations. That was a couple of years ago, and to date, no calculations are forthcoming. The other YEC apparently is working on a complete theory of information because this has not been achieved before. Other seminal works by this YEC include co-authorship of a book about information and excuses which earned him the distinction of getting a fake PhD to help in the book’s publication.

    So clearly there is some YEC interest in this.



    2) The second reason is that this looks interesting. It offers a new approach to understanding the problem, and perhaps points the chemists and physicists in a slightly new direction.



    3) The third reason it that it uses Avida.

    4) The fourth reason is that unlike the YECs I alluded to above, this guy actually does put his money where his mouth is.

    


Here is the write up from New Scientist:-

    Chances of first life improved by weighted dice

    Here is the paper itself:-

    Information-Theoretic Considerations Concerning the Origin of Life



    The conclusion is telling:-

    Originally posted by link above
    Even though we still do not know what is the set of monomers that gave rise to the first self-replicator (if ever there was one), the information-theoretic musings I have presented here should convince even the skeptics that, within an environment that produces monomers at relative ratios not too far from those found in a self-replicator, the probabilities can move very much in favor of spontaneous emergence of life. For every candidate chemistry then (where a self-replicator can be constructed), we should look for the environment that is best suited to produce it.

  • #2
    I loved the analogy of banging away randomly on a typewriter where the size of each key is proportional to the frequency of that letter in the language. Vowel keys an order of magnitude larger than infrequent letters like x or z.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rwatts View Post
      Gidday All, particularly Jorge,


      About the only ones who are doing anything to try and develop models which offer scientific explanations for the origin of life, are scientists.



      As has been noted on many occasions, this is a very complex problem and to date, no good theory for the origin of life has been established, although work continues to make progress. Historically this has been tackled largely by physicists and chemists looking for plausible physical conditions, and chemical routes by which life could have arisen.

      Here is a new twist.

      I’m posting this for four reasons:-

      1) One reason is mischievous because I am aware of a few YECs on various forums who often let us know that they are interested in the informational aspects of life’s origins. In two cases, one YEC once boasted about some calculations from the ID field, and that he would post said calculations. That was a couple of years ago, and to date, no calculations are forthcoming. The other YEC apparently is working on a complete theory of information because this has not been achieved before. Other seminal works by this YEC include co-authorship of a book about information and excuses which earned him the distinction of getting a fake PhD to help in the book’s publication.
      WOW - what a terrific way to start. After reading it I had to use the restroom.


      So clearly there is some YEC interest in this.



      2) The second reason is that this looks interesting. It offers a new approach to understanding the problem, and perhaps points the chemists and physicists in a slightly new direction.



      3) The third reason it that it uses Avida.

      4) The fourth reason is that unlike the YECs I alluded to above, this guy actually does put his money where his mouth is.

      


Here is the write up from New Scientist:-

      Chances of first life improved by weighted dice

      Here is the paper itself:-

      Information-Theoretic Considerations Concerning the Origin of Life



      The conclusion is telling:-
      What you present here is a piece of sophomoric krrrrrap.
      It baffles the mind that such things get published. But then again ...

      Beyond that comment it deserves not one second more of my time.

      Jorge

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jorge View Post
        WOW - what a terrific way to start. After reading it I had to use the restroom.
        It does look as if you found your brains there Jorge ...


        Originally posted by Jorge, demonstrating his debating abilities after finding his brains in the rest room
        What you present here is a piece of sophomoric krrrrrap.
        It baffles the mind that such things get published. But then again ...

        Beyond that comment it deserves not one second more of my time.

        Jorge

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by phank View Post
          I loved the analogy of banging away randomly on a typewriter where the size of each key is proportional to the frequency of that letter in the language. Vowel keys an order of magnitude larger than infrequent letters like x or z.
          Yes.

          And as the NS article pointed out, in reality the important monomers to this are often found in skewed, amounts. I wonder what impact a paper like this will have.

          Comment


          • #6
            Good article!! Take me a little time to digest it.
            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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