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Thread: Advances in the science of abiogenesis

  1. #41
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote 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 at 06:14 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

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  2. #42
    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Quote 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."

  3. #43
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote 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 at 09:33 PM.

  4. #44
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #45
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    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.

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