Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
taniwha

The question of Life

48 posts in this topic

Where does life come from? How was it formed? What is it?

Science has meticulously poked and prodded this riddle and uncovered a puzzle... they simply dont know. Or at least the very stronghold of evolution theory is challenged when placed under the microscope alongside the theory of intelligent design.

Does evolution theory even have any weight in the modern world?

http://www.thesciencenews.info/2014/01/is-this-physicist-solve-mystery-of.html

There is compelling evidence for some type of as yet unexplained intelligence responsible for the information within biological cells.

Are evolution and intelligent design simply two sides of the same coin?

Can life really spring from inanimate matter as if by magic?

Or is there an other explanation?

One way or another I am finding the intrigue of intelligent design far from speculative and a theory which warrants closer investigation as we enter deeper into 2014.

What do you think? Your ideas are welcome, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Questions on the origin of life are outside of the scope of evolutionary theory.

The article you linked to was badly (and confusingly) written and, as far as I could see, made no reference to intelligent causation of life. In fact, if anything, it seems to point to a hypothesis that under certain circumstances life is inevitable.

Just to clarify, why do you believe that your link supports "compelling evidence" for intelligent design?

And no, I don't believe evolutionary theory and ID are two sides of the same coin. They are diametrically opposed. ID claims that natural processes cannot explain what evolutionary theory says it can.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Questions on the origin of life are outside of the scope of evolutionary theory.

The article you linked to was badly (and confusingly) written and, as far as I could see, made no reference to intelligent causation of life. In fact, if anything, it seems to point to a hypothesis that under certain circumstances life is inevitable.

Just to clarify, why do you believe that your link supports "compelling evidence" for intelligent design?

And no, I don't believe evolutionary theory and ID are two sides of the same coin. They are diametrically opposed. ID claims that natural processes cannot explain what evolutionary theory says it can.

Yes I agree evolution theory is extremely limited.

How would you explain biological motors that are constructed and function like engines within living cells?

As for the article its hypothesis of life is unsupported and in my opinion lends no more weight to evolution theory but this is not meant as a one sided debate but hopefully an educational one.

Edited by taniwha
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hasn't this question already been asked a lot of different times in a lot of different ways?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. I didn't say it was limited. It does exactly what it sets out to do. It explains how all life is descended from a common ancestor. To say it is limited because it can't explain the origin of life is like saying your car is limited because it can't fly.

As to your second part. Do you mean like bacterial flagellum (the poster child of the ID movement). I'm not a biologist - at least not for the last 25 years. But here's a link with references to address that point:

http://www.millerand...n2/article.html

It addresses the main arguments of irreducible complexity (which is what I think you refer to).

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hasn't this question already been asked a lot of different times in a lot of different ways?

Sorry to rehash then, but I did enter 'life' into the forum search engine. It is an age old question and so far has not been conclusively answered. Maybe it will remain a mystery and no answer exists. That will never stop mankind looking. Seeking answers on the net I am less than satisfied with evolutionary evidence so far.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. I didn't say it was limited. It does exactly what it sets out to do. It explains how all life is descended from a common ancestor. To say it is limited because it can't explain the origin of life is like saying your car is limited because it can't fly.

As to your second part. Do you mean like bacterial flagellum (the poster child of the ID movement). I'm not a biologist - at least not for the last 25 years. But here's a link with references to address that point:

http://www.millerand...n2/article.html

It addresses the main arguments of irreducible complexity (which is what I think you refer to).

I dont know about the car cant fly analogy to describe evolutions short fallings because a car is clearly meant to be driven.

Yes I was referring to bacterial flagellum. There is a lot to read in your link so if you could edit in your own words? How is information of DNA explained by evolution if not a source of intelligent design I wonder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know about the car cant fly analogy to describe evolutions short fallings because a car is clearly meant to be driven.

Yes I was referring to bacterial flagellum. There is a lot to read in your link so if you could edit in your own words? How is information of DNA explained by evolution if not a source of intelligent design I wonder?

What you are looking for isn't evolution but abiogenesis which is an open question. DNA could not have been the origin of life. The question is how self-replicating polymers began. Intelligent design is just a substitute for natural selection and is not necessary to explain evolution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems odd that evolution if true isnt in the process of evolving before our eyes. Life is abundant enough but where are the new species at? What is there left for life to evolve into or become anyway?

What would be the ultimate evolutionary design? Have we already hit the limit of the scale?

Edited by taniwha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know about the car cant fly analogy to describe evolutions short fallings because a car is clearly meant to be driven.

Yes I was referring to bacterial flagellum. There is a lot to read in your link so if you could edit in your own words? How is information of DNA explained by evolution if not a source of intelligent design I wonder?

I'm confused what you're discussing here. You seem to be mixing up evolution and abiogenesis.

The car analogy was that, like your car is designed only to drive, the purpose of evolutionary theory is only to describe how life has proliferated from common descent.

Asking evolution to explain origin of life is like asking your car to fly. That's not its purpose.

And your putting words in my mouth. I have not referred to evolutions short fallings. It adequately describes what it sets out to do.

It might be helpful if you would clarify exactly the purpose of the thread. Is it to discuss the origin of life, or to debate the virtues of ID as an alternative to evolutionary theory. Because they are two different things.

As for the link. I think Ken Miller's writing is concise, succinct and clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you are looking for isn't evolution but abiogenesis which is an open question. DNA could not have been the origin of life. The question is how self-replicating polymers began. Intelligent design is just a substitute for natural selection and is not necessary to explain evolution

Yes how it all began is at the root of the problem. You say DNA could not have been the origin of life so I wonder if the first life forms would have contained DNA at all and what they might have looked like or reproduced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused what you're discussing here. You seem to be mixing up evolution and abiogenesis.

The car analogy was that, like your car is designed only to drive, the purpose of evolutionary theory is only to describe how life has proliferated from common descent.

Asking evolution to explain origin of life is like asking your car to fly. That's not its purpose.

And your putting words in my mouth. I have not referred to evolutions short fallings. It adequately describes what it sets out to do.

It might be helpful if you would clarify exactly the purpose of the thread. Is it to discuss the origin of life, or to debate the virtues of ID as an alternative to evolutionary theory. Because they are two different things.

As for the link. I think Ken Miller's writing is concise, succinct and clear.

Yes thanks for making yourself clear. The purpose of the thread is to discuss the origins of life, its theories and merits as opposed to just intelligent design. And yes as yourself and spacecowboy have correctly pointed out, abiogenesis is what I refer to but I disregard this concept. Life springing from inanimate matter... Hmmmm? I

If there is another theory apart from that then I am interested to hear it. As for evolution my questions of that remain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has there been an occurrence of life being spontaneously begun in the modern world? If I understand this correctly (I doubt that I'm capable of it frankly) it seems we are saying that the "common ancestor" came about from nothing and without a plan. All the cells and molecules simply interconnected randomly until the exact right combinations and energy levels -"started the motor" so to speak. If that happened once then should it not be expected to happen more than once? Just curious. I have no doubts whatsoever about the role of natural selection. For that there is enough evidence to go on with. But the actual beginning of life? Not so much.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do we really have to have this same conversation every few months?

I and others have explained evolutionary theory, why nothing is irreducibly complex, hypothesis on the origin of life, what natural selection is, etc, multiple, multiple times. One thread went well over 100 pages.

You can not believe in evolution all you want, it happens independent of your disbelief.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do we really have to have this same conversation every few months?

I and others have explained evolutionary theory, why nothing is irreducibly complex, hypothesis on the origin of life, what natural selection is, etc, multiple, multiple times. One thread went well over 100 pages.

You can not believe in evolution all you want, it happens independent of your disbelief.

Why be so concerned? Science hasnt stopped asking the question so why should we? Difficult questions are a problem I and others enjoy attempting to resolve and the link I put in post #1 is from 31 Jan this year. But I would agree that the content seems a bit hit and miss. Has there been other recent light shed on this subject?

I predict that if others feel this question is beating the same humdrum as other threads then it will die a natural death and no egos need feel threatened.

Evolution might help theorize why humans dont have flippers or a blowhole anymore but it stands as no more than what it says... theory. That leaves room for other ideas and this thread doesnt mind asking others for theirs.

So im not trying to inflame emotions but rather ignite healthy discussion on this true unsolved mystery. At the end of the day it is not compulsory for members to comment but please feel free to disagree.

Edited by taniwha
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems odd that evolution if true isnt in the process of evolving before our eyes. Life is abundant enough but where are the new species at? What is there left for life to evolve into or become anyway?

What would be the ultimate evolutionary design? Have we already hit the limit of the scale?

There is no question evolution is true. You want an example of it happening before our eyes? Try dogs. With dogs natural selection has been replaced by intelligent design. The intelligent designer being us. If we can change wolves into dogs in a few thousand years with artificial selection just think what natural selection can do with billions of years to work with. Genome mapping has made evolution an observed fact not a theory but this has nothing to do with abiogenesis. There is no design to evolution just non-random survival of random mutation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes how it all began is at the root of the problem. You say DNA could not have been the origin of life so I wonder if the first life forms would have contained DNA at all and what they might have looked like or reproduced.

The first lifeforms would have been self-replicating polymers. No more than molecules that replicated themselves and would blur the line between life and organic chemistry. Monomers such as amino acids have been reproduced in the laboratory. The only question is how they first combined into polymers. It is thought to possibly either involve vulcanism or cometary impact. RNA probably came before DNA. BTW calling evolution a theory at this point is like calling gravity a theory. Technically correct but to doubt it is unreasonable Edited by spacecowboy342
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first lifeforms would have been self-replicating polymers. No more than molecules that replicated themselves and would blur the line between life and organic chemistry. Monomers such as amino acids have been reproduced in the laboratory. The only question is how they first combined into polymers. It is thought to possibly either involve vulcanism or cometary impact. RNA probably came before DNA. BTW calling evolution a theory at this point is like calling gravity a theory. Technically correct but to doubt it is unreasonable

But if it happened then, why is there not a current form of it happening today? As I said, natural selection I have no problem with - it is real and provable. But where did the original ancestor come from? And the frustration is felt on both sides of the argument, I assure you. I would not like to be cast as a participant at the Scopes trial. In fact there are PhD's out there who still ask these questions so I think Taniwha is right, it still is an open question to some extent. No one's life is really impacted by it after all - it is just a quest for more knowledge - and that should always be a good goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if it happened then, why is there not a current form of it happening today? As I said, natural selection I have no problem with - it is real and provable. But where did the original ancestor come from? And the frustration is felt on both sides of the argument, I assure you. I would not like to be cast as a participant at the Scopes trial. In fact there are PhD's out there who still ask these questions so I think Taniwha is right, it still is an open question to some extent. No one's life is really impacted by it after all - it is just a quest for more knowledge - and that should always be a good goal.

How do you know there is not a current form of it happening today somewhere in the cosmos? No one knows how rare an occurrence it might be. If it was a common occurrence, I would think it would have been reproduced in the laboratory already. But, the fact that it might be rare does not mean it didn't happen. In the words of Lawrence Krauss, the universe is huge and old and rare things happen in it all the time. On average a type 1-A supernova happens once per century per galaxy. But if you go outside and look at a piece of the night sky you could cover with a dime, if you had a powerful enough telescope you would see a hundred thousand galaxies in that spot, and so could witness many type 1-A supernovae on any given night. Should we find the remnants of life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system it might show the start of life to be more common than I think it might be but right now this is just unknown. But unknown does not mean magic is required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no question evolution is true. You want an example of it happening before our eyes? Try dogs. With dogs natural selection has been replaced by intelligent design. The intelligent designer being us. If we can change wolves into dogs in a few thousand years with artificial selection just think what natural selection can do with billions of years to work with. Genome mapping has made evolution an observed fact not a theory but this has nothing to do with abiogenesis. There is no design to evolution just non-random survival of random mutation.

Thanks, that is a really interesting insight you have given. But is life really so simply complex?

Would you then go further and say that the purpose of planets is to evolve lifeforms? In anycase why would a planet need to evolve life at all? Why cant planets just orbit suns in ignorant bliss for eternity? :unsure2:?

I understand life as a physical and perhaps mental sense of 'being' and 'knowing'... can all life really just naturally 'sprout up' throughout the universe with thoughtless abandon?

Im not entirely sure about that. At the very least it seems we are made of star stuff so it does make me wonder if stars are very intelligent indeed.

And without trying to be vague there is no doubt in my mind that life on Earth exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, that is a really interesting insight you have given. But is life really so simply complex?

Would you then go further and say that the purpose of planets is to evolve lifeforms? In anycase why would a planet need to evolve life at all? Why cant planets just orbit suns in ignorant bliss for eternity? :unsure2:?

I understand life as a physical and perhaps mental sense of 'being' and 'knowing'... can all life really just naturally 'sprout up' throughout the universe with thoughtless abandon?

Im not entirely sure about that. At the very least it seems we are made of star stuff so it does make me wonder if stars are very intelligent indeed.

And without trying to be vague there is no doubt in my mind that life on Earth exists.

Well I'm not claiming to have any certainty here but I don't think planets have any purpose. I think people get too hung up on the idea that there is always some reason for everything. I think things just exist. We as conscious creatures must find our own purpose. I like the idea that we are the way the universe contemplates itself. but I think it just worked out that way
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have been contemplating a similar question about life beginning. How could DNA (or perhaps RNA) come into existence by accident? How could this accident then find its way into a cell? Without that question answered, any other question you ponder becomes meaningless.

That being said, evolution appears undeniable.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have created basic ingredients of RNA - Ribonucleotides - In the Lab

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/ribonucleotides/

“By changing the way we mix the ingredients together, we managed to make ribonucleotides,” said Sutherland. “The chemistry works very effectively from simple precursors, and the conditions required are not distinct from what one might imagine took place on the early Earth.”

Like other would-be nucleotide synthesizers, Sutherland’s team included phosphate in their mix, but rather than adding it to sugars and nucleobases, they started with an array of even simpler molecules that were probably also in Earth’s primordial ooze.

They mixed the molecules in water, heated the solution, then allowed it to evaporate, leaving behind a residue of hybrid, half-sugar, half-nucleobase molecules. To this residue they again added water, heated it, allowed it evaporate, and then irradiated it.

At each stage of the cycle, the resulting molecules were more complex. At the final stage, Sutherland’s team added phosphate. “Remarkably, it transformed into the ribonucleotide!” said Sutherland.

According to Sutherland, these laboratory conditions resembled those of the life-originating “warm little pond” hypothesized by Charles Darwin if the pond “evaporated, got heated, and then it rained and the sun shone.”

Such conditions are plausible, and Szostak imagined the ongoing cycle of evaporation, heating and condensation providing “a kind of organic snow which could accumulate as a reservoir of material ready for the next step in RNA synthesis.”

Intriguingly, the precursor molecules used by Sutherland’s team have been identified in interstellar dust clouds and on meteorites.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life can spring from a game on graph paper. It's really not that hard to imagine.

its a simple logical fact that the only things that can exist into the future are things that find a form of stability. The laws of physics are constant. Some forms of complex chemistry are bound to find processes to extend themselves into the future by sheer virtue that all the ones that didn't would not be here. We are left with chemical processes that can, because after billions of years only the rare and best at continuing processes would still exist.

All we really need is a complex set of rules and plenty of time and life should be inevitable in some places. Even if its 1 in a 10 billion chance on any given planet, there simply is enough space for even the rarest of things to happen.

This dosnt say anything about design. it could just have easily been designed that way.

Edited by White Crane Feather
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Ideal ex.

But the "warm little pond" hypothesis by Charles Darwin was made at a time when Darwin had no idea how complicated a single cell was.

Plus the RNA had to find its way into a functioning cell and then repair the cell, replicate the cell, feed its self etc, while not being alive.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.