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Thread: Origin of life - a response

  1. #41
    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Well, that may be, but see the quote by Harold Morowitz the biophysicist above.
    Why don't, for a change, you pay attention to your own quotes. It's for a bacterial cell, which is irrelevant to the discussion of pre-LUCA life forms.
    "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

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    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    I realize, that for people who aren't Lee, it's probably worth elaborating what's going on here.

    All indications are that the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of life on earth existed over 3 billion years ago. That means current organisms have had billions of years to:
    Evolve extremely efficient ways of extracting energy from their environment.
    Evolve an elaborate metabolism to match their energy input.

    I don't think i'm going out on a limb to say that, if you kept the modern metabolism, but swapped in the energy harvesting abilities of LUCA, the resulting cells would die. They would be completely unable to produce the levels of energy that the whole rest of the cell needs to function. Billions of years of evolution will do that.

    But LUCA likely came hundreds of millions of years after the first primitive cells. And the difference here is likely to be even more striking. The first primitive cells likely had a series of unconnected metabolisms sharing a membrane with something that could replicate RNAs. They were almost certainly entirely dependent upon their environment for both energy and key molecules that were central to their metabolism. You likely couldn't do the same experiment of swapping their energy-harvesting portion of metabolism into LUCA, simply because they didn't have a unified energy harvesting system.

    How could something like this constantly harvest fresh, energy-rich molecules from its environment? Probably one or both of two ways. In some cases, like geothermal vents, environmental processes provide a constant flow of energy rich molecules. In other cases, cyclical processes can drive the formation of molecules that won't form under average conditions. For example, ATP won't form spontaneously from a watery solution of AMP and phosphate. But if you dehydrate the solution, then it can form, since the addition of phosphates liberates a water molecule.

    It's because of these issues that the apparent argument here, to the extent that Lee has elaborated anything at all, becomes standard creationist fare. If you take a bunch of average conditions, many energy rich molecules won't form. And if you try to power a full LUCA-like metabolism - or even worse, a modern metabolism - with the sorts of molecules that likely did form, they'll fail. And the creationist argument is that, therefore, it's impossible for life to have formed. But the reality is that the conditions they're trying to limit consideration to - nothing but average conditions, a relatively high-powered metabolism - are pretty much irrelevant to what the first cells were actually doing. And they were doing much less than more modern organisms like LUCA.

    It's the standard creationist approach of taking a start and end point that are very distant, ignoring all the possible transition states in between them, and then declaring that the full leap between the two is impossible.
    Last edited by TheLurch; 05-23-2020 at 02:14 PM.
    "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

  3. Amen Boxing Pythagoras, Seeker amen'd this post.
  4. #43
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    No, that opens the topic for discussion.


    No energy would indeed be an issue.


    Well, proton pumps are common in cells, they provide energy for making ATP, for instance. Are you saying proton pumps developed after the first cells?


    No, this is an observation.


    Well, fine, but I'm not sure why you are pointing this out.

    Source: Barge et. al.

    In this paper, we discuss how prebiotic geo-electrochemical systems can be modeled as a fuel cell and how laboratory simulations of the origin of life in general can benefit from this systems-led approach. As a specific example, the components of what we have termed the “prebiotic fuel cell” (PFC) that operates at a putative Hadean hydrothermal vent are detailed, and we used electrochemical analysis techniques and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components to test the properties of this PFC and other geo-electrochemical systems, the results of which are reported here. The modular nature of fuel cells makes them ideal for creating geo-electrochemical reactors with which to simulate hydrothermal systems on wet rocky planets and characterize the energetic properties of the seafloor/hydrothermal interface. That electrochemical techniques should be applied to simulating the origin of life follows from the recognition of the fuel cell–like properties of prebiotic chemical systems and the earliest metabolisms. Conducting this type of laboratory simulation of the emergence of bioenergetics will not only be informative in the context of the origin of life on Earth but may help in understanding whether life might emerge in similar environments on other worlds. Key Words: Astrobiology—Bioenergetics—Iron sulfides—Origin of life—Prebiotic chemistry. Astrobiology 14, 254–270.

    © Copyright Original Source


    And I can't look behind the paywall to read further, though it does seem odd to think of organisms starting with fuel cells first.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    By the source the proton pump does not need a 'racecar' of energy to function. The original simple early life forms likely did not use the proton pump for an energy source, as The Lurch noted. There is abundant energy in the form of volcanic sources for pre-life forms to thrive.

    LUCA did not suddenly appear with the wave of a wand. It evolved from more primitive organic forms as the sources describe.
    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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  5. #44
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    This article concludes with:

    Source: LiveScience

    Testing the idea, however, will be tricky, Amend told LiveScience. "Mimicking natural conditions in the lab is a lot more difficult than it sounds."

    © Copyright Original Source


    So what we have here is an idea, not a tested procedure.


    As cited where?


    Here is a reference:

    Source: Miller

    Harold Morowitz estimated the probability that a bacterial cell might have originated through thermal fluctuations, and determined that the probability of spontaneously going from low to high, when every other system was spontaneously going from high to low, was on the order of one part in ten to the power of a hundred billion [Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow in Biology (Oxford: Ox Bow Books, 1979), 66.]. This number represents a least upper bound since it measures the smallest increase in free energy needed to form a bacterial cell. And, of course, the probability is essentially zero.

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source


    Blessings,
    Lee
    Miller alone is not a reliable evidence, because no research on his part and his religious Creationist agenda. Need peer reviewd indepenednt sources. Also it is not a good idead to selectively cite Harold J. Morowitz

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_J._Morowitz



    The origin of life

    Morowitz's book Energy Flow in Biology laid out his central thesis that "the energy that flows through a system acts to organize that system,"[12] an insight later quoted on the inside front cover of The Last Whole Earth Catalog. He was a vigorous proponent of the view that life on earth emerged deterministically from the laws of chemistry and physics,[13] and so believed it highly probable that life exists widely in the universe.[5][14]

    In 1983, he testified at "McLean v. Arkansas" (nicknamed "Scopes II") that creationism has no scientific basis and so should not be taught as science in public schools.[15]

    His work is sometimes associated with the Gard model of evolutionary biology

    © 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.

  6. #45
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLurch View Post
    If you take a bunch of average conditions, many energy rich molecules won't form. And if you try to power a full LUCA-like metabolism - or even worse, a modern metabolism - with the sorts of molecules that likely did form, they'll fail. And the creationist argument is that, therefore, it's impossible for life to have formed.
    But I was taking Miller's starting point, in hydrothermal vents.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  7. #46
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Miller alone is not a reliable evidence, because no research on his part and his religious Creationist agenda. Need peer reviewd indepenednt sources.
    Source: Miller

    With Hoyle’s 747 having lumbered down various runways, nearly all origins of life (OOL) researchers came to recognize that the appearance of the first cell could not have been a matter of sheer dumb luck.33

    33. Jack Trevors and David Abel, “Chance and Necessity Do Not Explain the Origin of Life,” Cell Biology International 28, no. 11 (2004): 729–39, doi:10.1016/J.CELLBI.2004.06.006.

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Also it is not a good idead to selectively cite Harold J. Morowitz.
    So do you disagree with him, then?

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  8. #47
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Source: Miller

    With Hoyle’s 747 having lumbered down various runways, nearly all origins of life (OOL) researchers came to recognize that the appearance of the first cell could not have been a matter of sheer dumb luck.33

    33. Jack Trevors and David Abel, “Chance and Necessity Do Not Explain the Origin of Life,” Cell Biology International 28, no. 11 (2004): 729–39, doi:10.1016/J.CELLBI.2004.06.006.

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source

    Miller may begin with hydrothermal vents, but as The Lurch described and the references I gave Miller unethically misrepresents the energy relationships in abiogenesis. First in assuming the energy involved. No 'racecar' necessary, and assuming the requirements of the early stages of abiogenesis have the same energy relationships as the more complex life that would be the LUCA.

    So do you disagree with him, then?

    Blessings,
    Lee
    No, I disagree with your selective unethical citation of his work to justify your agenda.
    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.

  9. #48
    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    But I was taking Miller's starting point, in hydrothermal vents.
    Which we know release sufficient chemical to power modern metabolisms. And you claimed they didn't have sufficient power to handle extremely primitive cells. It's a phenomenally dumb statement.

    Your attempted way around it is to claim they don't have a sufficient proton gradient to power ATP production. But, as i just pointed out, ATP production probably didn't evolve for millions of years after primitive cells had formed.

    The whole argument is just completely nonsensical. I realize you're just parroting someone else, and it's not ultimately your fault that the argument exists. But you could show some original thinking and reject it.
    "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

  10. #49
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    But I was taking Miller's starting point, in hydrothermal vents.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    I would add, neither Miller nor you are beginning with the primitive simple pre-life forms of the hydrothermal vents. You begin with the life forms we know of after LUCA.
    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.

  11. #50
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    No, I disagree with your selective unethical citation of his work to justify your agenda.
    How is this cherry-picking, though?

    I would add, neither Miller nor you are beginning with the primitive simple pre-life forms of the hydrothermal vents.
    Yes, we are beginning with the primitive simple pre-life forms of the hydrothermal vents. What is being argued is that the most promising energy source, the proton gradient, is much too small.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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