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what is life?


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#1    minaras

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:07 PM



   When somebody is studying the phenomenon of viruses ,he can see that when viruses are not coming in contact with a host organism, they are a sum of  chemical compounds that not fulfill the criteria to be considered as life.While on the other hand they start reacting with a host, or in other words they start making chemical reactions with the compounds of the host,they become alive.The same thing happen with prions ,which are proteinaceous compounds that while they react with proteins of the host, they become alive in a way.

    Lets hypothesize that we make the hypothesis that:No living organism is possible to remain unchanged structurally.Lets hypothesize that this rule is principal in nature and nothing could go beyond it or prove that it is untrue.

   What would that mean to the way that we see the world?

First of all lets make clear what we mean: An organism that would remain unchanged structurally dyring a very small period of time,would be considered as not living for that period. When we say unchanged we mean of course that there are not taking place chemical reaction inside it.Maybe there is a single cell inside an organism that is unchanged,but the rest of the cells are changing. We say then that this organism has a dead cell.,but the organism as a whole is alive.Maybe this cell would be able to regain life if it react with the appropriate signals. But maybe not.

     If we want to see the consequences of our  hypothesis in the nature we meet the question:what is the least that can be considered as life?For example, a mitochondrion can be considered life according to what we said, but a simple chemical molecule  cannot,unless it reacts with another molecule or substance.At the moment of the reaction these two substances are the least that is considerd life.So, a simple chemical reaction as long as it happens ,is the simpliest form of life, or else, the sparkle of life.That means that the superior organisms as well as all the organism is a summation  of chemical reactions.

       The advantages of the hypethesis that we made is that  we can explain successfully the prions and the viruses.

        Another important consequence of the hypothesis is this:Living creatures are the sum of their chemical reactions as  we said.While they are getting older,they are suffering a process that is called aging.They are changing especially structurally.Obviously they are getting different.That means that the chemical reactions that are composing their body,are different from that  that were before.If the chemical reaction were remaining unchanged forever,then the body would be the same,and that means that the body would stay forever young and forever alive.

Lets see now a simple chemical reaction  A+B—}C+D.Lets consider that C  and D are gases and are expelled from the place of the reaction.The quantity of A and B will get lesser and lesser because they are becoming C and D,Or else they are suffering a chemical transformation.

Lets see now another chemical reaction:A+B---}C+D--}E+F

Lets consider that E and F are gasses.That means that the quantities of A,B,C,D  will be lowering unless we put in the mixture exactly the quantities of A and B that is being transformed into C and D every moment.So there is an exact amount, as well as exact rhythm of  adding A and B that would keep the reaction unchangeable.Lets consider now a very simple organism that is composed from the reactions :A+B--}C+D--}E+F…………--}Y+Z.Lets say that A and B are food supplements and Y and Z are compounds expelled from the organism.Of course the real organisms are much more complicated.If that organism eat theoretically a certain amount of food in acertain way, then the reactions of this organism would remained the same forever.[C,D,E,F……are all compounds of the organism.].If we didn't give the exact food ,then the reaction would change ,dependently on the how far we are from that ideal food .In the same manner we can say that all living organisms are a sum of chemical reactions that start with digestion,and end with the waste products of metabolism.

        As a result we can say that in a theoretical basis,if an orgasism eated exactly a certain amount,quality and quantity of foods in acertain way,then it could prevent the changing of its reactions and as a result it could prevent the aging process,expanding its lifespan.Of course this is something very difficult to happen in real life because there are numerous things that plays their role and of course things are not that simple.

   One important clue that suggests that what we said is true, is the recent discovery that living organisms that follow  a calorie restricted diet,can expand their lifetime, in some cases as long as 60 per cent.This is not a proof that what we said is true,but it is positive to find that the changing of caloric menu has as a result a change in the lifespan.Perhaps a certain diet causes an ever greater expansion.It remains to be proved…………..

          The new hypothesis  also says that life existed before the first cell,in the form of chemical reactions……………to be continued  




#2    minaras

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 04:04 PM

Scientists have accepted that life was originated from a single cell,which was the first cell on earth, and composed the first thing that was a form of life. The evolution of this cell had as a result the formation of life the way that we know and see today. A problem with this idea is that, as we know, if we had just a single cell in earth right now, and out of it there was nothing, then not only this would not lead to the formation of more complicated forms of life,but this single cell soon would be dead.Despite of that,most scientists accept the single cell theory.The new theory that we introduced claims tha tit was not necessary to be a first single cell to start the evolutionary process that would lead to life as we know it today, but says that life preexisted , because even a single chemical reaction  is a form of life.The creation of the first cell actually is the result of the existence of life.

        Lets see now another problem: In the beginning, life on earth was simplier than today. That means that there was a system of chemical reactions that gave its place to a more complicated one.This sounds a bit strange because if a system of chemical reactions does not get energy from outside, leads to an equilibrium state. If we accept that our new theory is true, means that there had to be an external source of energy{probably the large quantities of energy that comes everyday on earth from the light of the sun that lead not only to the survival of the first forms of life, but also to their evolution.


#3    minaras

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 04:06 PM



As we said, living organisms are a summation of chemical reactions.What happens now when they die? There is a disorder in a system of reactions (for example brain necrosis, which means that in a large number of neural cells there is a stop in the reactions that happen there) that lead in a chain reaction way to a disorder in other reactions and then in others and so on.The  final result is that there is a necrosis in the whole body, in a chain reaction way.

     This  means that if somebody with a magic way made all the chemical reactions of the body started working simultaneously,(or else there was an arousal of all the reactions and all were working again),we woud not have the chain reaction leading to death again, but the organism would gain life again.The  question is with which way we would stimulate all the reactions simultaneously.This means that the source of this energy, would give the appropriate energy to the whole volume of the dead cell, with the right timing.One idea is the use of an appropriate form of electromagnetic waves.


#4    jdlsmith

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:25 AM

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Scientists have accepted that life was originated from a single cell,which was the first cell on earth, and composed the first thing that was a form of life.


Perception is everything... Many scientists, quite possibly even the majority, do not accept the view of all life starting from a single cell.


As far as life, some generally accepted qualifications are is:

Must have or be able to

Reproduce -- typically - a more thourough discussion would show mules to be a life-form... wink2.gif
Metabolism.
Growth.
Respond to outside influences.

One can always argue against the typical definition with various straw-man arguements, but common sense comes in handy sometimes.

JS


#5    dmb

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:57 AM

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Scientists have accepted that life was originated from a single cell,which was the first cell on earth, and composed the first thing that was a form of life. The evolution of this cell had as a result the formation of life the way that we know and see today. A problem with this idea is that, as we know, if we had just a single cell in earth right now, and out of it there was nothing, then not only this would not lead to the formation of more complicated forms of life,but this single cell soon would be dead.


I don't follow. Why couldn't a single cell survive and reproduce and lead to a population upon which evolution could act?





#6    Captain Kolak

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 01:28 AM

Life only happen once. All those chemicals had to come together in exactly the right way once. And it went from there....

Saying that gaps in the fossil record invalidate evolution is much like saying time doesn't exist between ticks of your digital watch

#7    jdlsmith

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:36 AM

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Life only happen once. All those chemicals had to come together in exactly the right way once. And it went from there....

and it went from there, lived out it's life, and died.  Sadly, reproductive capabilities needed a couple more steps of evolution, but each generation died before it could evolve reproduction.

Sad really...

sad.gif


#8    camlax

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:08 PM

Quote

and it went from there, lived out it's life, and died.  Sadly, reproductive capabilities needed a couple more steps of evolution, but each generation died before it could evolve reproduction.

Sad really...

sad.gif



JDL,

Having seen your posts before, I realize you are not motivated by scientific reasoning, rather your religious ones. To start, evolution does not propose the creation of life, evolution acts on things that fit 4 criteria

Evolution needs:
1. Variation.
2. Differential survival (not all the offspring survive).
3. inheritance (some of the variations must be passed on).
4. Extinction (survival and reproduction is random).

I would not expect you to be aware of this, however now you can be. The definitions of life are as follow,
1. Convert one form of energy to another.
2. Excrete waste created by metabolic processes
3. Reproduce with fidelity.
4. Cell is basic unit.
5. Evolves, inherit variability.

As you can see, it is not necessary for something to be alive for evolution to act upon it.

Also, as stated above, evolution does not deal with how life arose, simply what happened after it arose.

As far the arrival of self-replicating molecules on this planet, there is quite a bit more evidence than you probably realize. Chemists have been able to create self-replicating organic molecules for years now. Also, computer simulations have added even more evidence to support replicating molecules. Being unaware of something, does not change the reality of it. Here but a brief few examples.

Wintner, Edward A., M. Morgan Conn, and Julius Rebek, Jr.. "Self-Replicating Molecules: A Second Generation." J. Am. Chem. Soc 116(1994): 8877-8884.
Abstract:

Quote

The use of self-complementary structures in replication experiments is discussed, and a second generation
of self-replicating molecules is introduced. Key design elements of the new system are described, specifically a high
affinity (Ka - lo5 M-1 in CDC13) between the two complementary reactive components and the careful placement
of nucleophilic and electrophilic centers within the system. These considerations preclude intramolecular reactions
within two-component complexes, thus minimizing undesirable background reactions. Autocatalysis is observed in the
new systems, and by using appropriate control experiments the autocatalysis is traced to template effects



Soai, K, T. Hayase, and K. Takai. "Catalytic Chirally Self-replicating Molecule.." Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 6(1995): 637-638.
Abstract:

Quote

Isopropylzinc alkoxide of 1-ferrocenyl-2-methylpropan-1-ol was found to be a catalytic chirally self-replicating molecule which produces itself with the same configuration from ferrocenyl aldehyde and diisopropylzinc with 35-39% e.e. in good yields.


Yao, Shao, Indraneel Ghosh, and Reena Zutshi. "Selective Amplification by auto- and cross-catalysis in a replicating peptide system." Nature 396(1998): 447-450.
Abstract:

Quote

Self-replication has been demonstrated in synthetic chemical
systems based on oligonucleotides1±7, peptides8±12 and complementary
molecules without natural analogues13±16. However, within
a living cell virtually no molecule catalyses its own formation, and
the search for chemical systems in which both auto- and cross-catalysis
can occur has therefore attracted wide interest17. One
such system, consisting of two self-replicating peptides that
catalyse each other's production, has been reported10. Here we
describe a four-component peptide system that is capable of auto- and
cross-catalysis and allows for the selective amplification of
one or more of the products by changing the reaction conditions.
The ability of this system selectively to amplify one or more
molecules in response to changes in environmental conditions
such as pHor salt concentration supports the suggestion8 that self-replicating
peptides may have played a role in the origin of life.


Bachman, Pascale Angelica, Peter Walde, and Pier Luigi Luisi. "Self-Replicating Reverse Micelles and Chemical Autopoiesis ." J. Am. Chem. Soc 112(1990): 8200-8201.
Abstract

Quote

Whether or not and to what extent synthetic chemical structures
are able to self-replicate is a fascinating and important question,
as it binds chemistry with one of the most basic cell processes.
A few ingenious chemical structures endowed with the property
of self-replication have been proposed over the year~,l-s~om e of
them including nucleotides as basic units.
The analogy with cell replication would be stronger if the
self-replicating structure would be closed, Le., provided with a
geometrically defined boundary. It has been proposed recently,
in a theoretical paper,4 that reverse micelles can be good models
for such a closed, self-replicating structure.


Natasha, Paul, Gerald F. Joyce, and "A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99(2002): 12733-12740.
Abstract:
QUOTE
A self-replicating molecule directs the covalent assembly of component molecules to form a product that is of identical composition to the parent. When the newly formed product also is able to direct the assembly of product molecules, the self-replicating system can be termed autocatalytic. A self-replicating system was developed based on a ribozyme that catalyzes the assembly of additional copies of itself through an RNA-catalyzed RNA ligation reaction. The R3C ligase ribozyme was redesigned so that it would ligate two substrates to generate an exact copy of itself, which then would behave in a similar manner. This self-replicating system depends on the catalytic nature of the RNA for the generation of copies. A linear dependence was observed between the initial rate of formation of new copies and the starting concentration of ribozyme, consistent with exponential growth. The autocatalytic rate constant was 0.011 min-1, whereas the initial rate of reaction in the absence of pre-existing ribozyme was only 3.3 × 10-11 M·min-1. Exponential growth was limited, however, because newly formed ribozyme molecules had greater difficulty forming a productive complex with the two substrates. Further optimization of the system may lead to the sustained exponential growth of ribozymes that undergo self-replication.



Anyway, you should get the point. There is plenty of evidence for self-replicating molecules.

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It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.
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#9    jdlsmith

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 06:13 PM

Quote

As you can see, it is not necessary for something to be alive for evolution to act upon it.

Ahh... so then after that first cell died, it could still evolve the ability to reproduce...  Thanks for the enlightenment!

JS


#10    jdlsmith

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 06:45 PM

Quote

JDL,

Having seen your posts before, I realize you are not motivated by scientific reasoning, rather your religious ones. To start, evolution does not propose the creation of life, evolution acts on things that fit 4 criteria

Evolution needs:
1. Variation.
2. Differential survival (not all the offspring survive).
3. inheritance (some of the variations must be passed on).
4. Extinction (survival and reproduction is random).

I would not expect you to be aware of this, however now you can be. The definitions of life are as follow,
1. Convert one form of energy to another.
2. Excrete waste created by metabolic processes
3. Reproduce with fidelity.
4. Cell is basic unit.
5. Evolves, inherit variability.

As you can see, it is not necessary for something to be alive for evolution to act upon it.

Also, as stated above, evolution does not deal with how life arose, simply what happened after it arose.

As far the arrival of self-replicating molecules on this planet, there is quite a bit more evidence than you probably realize. Chemists have been able to create self-replicating organic molecules for years now. Also, computer simulations have added even more evidence to support replicating molecules. Being unaware of something, does not change the reality of it. Here but a brief few examples.

Wintner, Edward A., M. Morgan Conn, and Julius Rebek, Jr.. "Self-Replicating Molecules: A Second Generation." J. Am. Chem. Soc 116(1994): 8877-8884.
Abstract:
Soai, K, T. Hayase, and K. Takai. "Catalytic Chirally Self-replicating Molecule.." Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 6(1995): 637-638.
Abstract:
Yao, Shao, Indraneel Ghosh, and Reena Zutshi. "Selective Amplification by auto- and cross-catalysis in a replicating peptide system." Nature 396(1998): 447-450.
Abstract:
Bachman, Pascale Angelica, Peter Walde, and Pier Luigi Luisi. "Self-Replicating Reverse Micelles and Chemical Autopoiesis ." J. Am. Chem. Soc 112(1990): 8200-8201.
Abstract
Natasha, Paul, Gerald F. Joyce, and "A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99(2002): 12733-12740.
Abstract:
Anyway, you should get the point. There is plenty of evidence for self-replicating molecules.


Ok, some serious questions.

Do any of these self-replicating molecules use their own material for the new molecule?  That is what 'life' does.

Are you proposing that a self-replicating molecule was the direct precursor to the first living cell?

Do any living cells use the same mechanism for self-replicating as these non-living self-replicating cells?

If the mechanism is not the same, then to draw a connection is really quite silly.  If it is the same, then we've got something to go on... unfortunately, we already know (even before you answer) that it's really not the same...

JS


#11    camlax

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 04:15 AM

Quote

Ahh... so then after that first cell died, it could still evolve the ability to reproduce...  Thanks for the enlightenment!

JS


Do you like misinterpreting things to push your ID/Creation agenda?

Something does not need to be alive for evolution to act upon it. If you doubt this, try this out.

Go to a HIV research facility, break in. Steal HIV, inject it into yourself. Watch in amazement as the virus evolves in your body to circumvent antivirals.

Edited by camlax, 07 October 2007 - 04:26 AM.

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#12    camlax

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 04:25 AM

Quote

Do any of these self-replicating molecules use their own material for the new molecule?  That is what 'life' does.


Does a virus? Self-replication can occur many ways, something does not have to pass on part of itself to be self-replicating, just replicate itself, and in the process introduce some kind of change/variability.

Quote

Are you proposing that a self-replicating molecule was the direct precursor to the first living cell?


We don't currently know what the precursor to a cell was. This does not mean, a designer must have done it. Actually, cell membranes have almost been solved. And many self-replicating molecules produced. As well as artificial nucleic acids that reproduce. How life first arose will not remain a mystery forever, probably within this next decade.


Quote

Do any living cells use the same mechanism for self-replicating as these non-living self-replicating cells?


Does it matter? No. Do your osmoregulate the same as elasmobranches? No. You don't. Thats the beautiful part about evolution, it allows for new structure to arise. Also, not all things on earth replicate the same, this does not stop evolution from acting upon it.

Quote

If the mechanism is not the same, then to draw a connection is really quite silly.  If it is the same, then we've got something to go on... unfortunately, we already know (even before you answer) that it's really not the same...JS


JS, you have show nothing but a very very limited understand of what evolution is, how evolution works, biology and what life is. Look above at the post I made. Evolution is those 4 things. There is no statement in inheritance that says all inheritance must arise through such and such process. Because we don't the exact mechanism does not mean it has not happened, however much you may wish it did not. Furthermore, replication does not have to be the same in both the first life and latter life, as I said above, the beauty of evolution: Variation.

This means, that the way life replicates now (still different for different organism) probably arose by variation of the first life.  No big deal, that is what evolution does. It changes things over time...

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It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.
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#13    jdlsmith

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 08:00 AM

Quote

JS, you have show nothing but a very very limited understand of what evolution is, how evolution works, biology and what life is. Look above at the post I made. Evolution is those 4 things. There is no statement in inheritance that says all inheritance must arise through such and such process. Because we don't the exact mechanism does not mean it has not happened, however much you may wish it did not. Furthermore, replication does not have to be the same in both the first life and latter life, as I said above, the beauty of evolution: Variation.

The problem is, you have to go from not living to living, and in the process, without missing a beat, modify the mechanics of cell replication.  You and I both know that makes it basically impossible.  To get not only first life, but also, in the same step, first mutation to reproduction the way living cells do it, is beyond what anyone ought to be able to logically wrap their minds around.

To not have both steps at once requires either A - precursor to life reproduced in the same way the first life did Or B - First life didn't reproduce and simply died.  Obviously you believe A or that both steps happened at once.  It must be one or the other.  Which do you think is more likely?


#14    jdlsmith

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 08:05 AM

Quote

Do you like misinterpreting things to push your ID/Creation agenda?

It was a joke.  Sorry you didn't find it funny... wink2.gif   Your statement was really quite amusing and I couldn't help responding appropriately.

Quote

Something does not need to be alive for evolution to act upon it. If you doubt this, try this out.

Go to a HIV research facility, break in. Steal HIV, inject it into yourself. Watch in amazement as the virus evolves in your body to circumvent antivirals.

Actually, I think the definition of life, including whether the virus should be considered alive, is part of the discussion of this thread...  Is the virus alive?



#15    camlax

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 01:41 PM

Quote

The problem is, you have to go from not living to living, and in the process, without missing a beat, modify the mechanics of cell replication.  You and I both know that makes it basically impossible.  To get not only first life, but also, in the same step, first mutation to reproduction the way living cells do it, is beyond what anyone ought to be able to logically wrap their minds around.


I would not say it was a problem, because evidence is starting to pile up that it did. Look JDL, I realize that there are some types of people in the world who would rather believe "because we don't understand it god must have done it". And I realize you are one of these people from reading your other posts. However, life starting on its own is not impossible, but rather probable as our understanding of early earth increases.

Your bolded comment shows how little you are understanding here. The mechanism is not known, that means there are lost of ways life could have arose, there is required 1 step for it all to happen in. As I stated above, evolution can work on biologically non living things. If you understand how evolution works then the development of more complex things, such as how cells reproduce should be no surprise to you.

Quote

To not have both steps at once requires either A - precursor to life reproduced in the same way the first life did Or B - First life didn't reproduce and simply died.  Obviously you believe A or that both steps happened at once.  It must be one or the other.  Which do you think is more likely?


Actually you are wrong again, and you again show your ignorant arguments how evolution works with your typical "such and such had to arise at the same time argument". We know self-replicating molecules exist. No one is saying evolution had to start acting on these molecules right away, as there may have been no mechanism for variation. Then something on earth changed and variation occurred. How? Thats not known, but that hardly requires a designer because it is unknown. Once you have variation, replication and a degree of inheritance, you are on your way.

Also, you seem to have missed some fundamentals of biology here. I think you are of the mind that first organisms on earth used sexual reproduction, meaning "there had to be two for it to work". The earliest organisms from Prokaryota and Archaea  did not reproduce sexually, they more or less clone themselves (like they still do today). So the whole 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 4 thing going on here.


"Sorry, but my inner voice tells me to tell your inner voice the following:
It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.
Could you please relay that message to your inner voice?"
~Harte

"Imagination without knowledge is Ignorance waiting to happen."




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