Erollisi Marr - The Nameless

Go Back   Erollisi Marr - The Nameless > NON EQ Stuff (Real life, other games, etc.) > Steam Vent


Reply
 
Add/Share Add/Share Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-01-2004, 08:11 PM   #26
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
So biogenesis is not a problem at all, and merely a demonstration that you know jack and shit about evolution.
Biogenesis and evolution are two completely different theories only related to one another but still mutually exclusive. In fact we could indeed have creation and evolution OR biogenesis and no evolution. Creation vs evolution is not an argument. Like I said before, its like trying to argue gravity vs photosynthesis or some shit
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004, 08:53 PM   #27
Usna
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 226
Luri, I wasn't referring to god, but rather "evidence" of the type that the world is actually only 5000 years old, put forward by some Creationists.
Usna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004, 09:30 PM   #28
chukzombi
The Undead Shaman
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: The Bowels of Hell, A.K.A. New Jersey
Posts: 9,564
Sadly, i find this line more believable than some ideas on our origins.

A lot of people don't realize what is really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don't realize there's a lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything.

Give you an example, Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone will say, "Plate" or "Shrimp" or "Plate of shrimp", out of the blue. No explanation and there's no point in looking for one either. It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness.

You know the way everybody is into weirdness right now? Books in all the supermarkets about the Bermuda Triangle, UFO's, how the Mayans invented television, that kind of thing. Well the way I see it it's exactly the same. There aint no difference between a flying saucer or a time machine.

People get so hung up on specifics, they miss out on seeing the whole thing. Take South America for example. Every year in South America thousands of people turn up missing. Nobody knows where they go. They just disappear. But if you think for a minute, realize something, there had to be a time when there was no people right? Well where did all these people come from? I'll tell you where, the future. Where did all these people disappear to, the past. How did they get there? Flying saucers, which are really, yeah you got it, time machines.

I Think a lot about this kind of stuff. I do my best thinking on the bus. That's how come I don't drive. See I don't want to know how. I don't want to learn. The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.
__________________
Chukzombi Astrocreep
Magister (re-united)
chukzombi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004, 10:00 PM   #29
AresProphet
Priest of Hiroshima
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,932
Send a message via MSN to AresProphet
Trech, there is in fact a debate between creationism and evolution, because they are incompatible to a very large extent. Some will claim a compromise and that "God created evolution" but to be honest that sort of answers nothing at all.

And evolution has a lot to do with biogenesis, because not only do evolutionary principles apply to living things as we know them. You can use evolutionary theories to develop "self-coded" software (in principle; it's too complex yet). You can apply evolutionary theories to economics, culture. Hell, evolution can even explain the origin of religion and God! The fact that it doesn't come up with the answer the fundamentalists desperately want to hear doesn't make the explanation wrong, but rather the expectation.

And a note on calling something a "theory". If something is a theory it does not mean it is unproven and as such can't be trusted. Gravity is a "theory" but I doubt any of us are going to call into question its existence. And, in a very strange way evolution and gravity have similar "problems". It is a fundamental property of the universe we live in that amtter attracts other amtter, but you'll be hard pressed to explain a very exact mechanism without simply referring to that fact. But it isn't very convenient to bring up the gravitron hypothesis when you're talking about Kepler's laws, is it?

Just as on a very small molecular scale, evolution might rely on the supposed "tautology" of "That which survives, survives" (not a tautological argument at all, but a fundamental property of our universe!), but when you're talking about Darwinism as it applies to higher orders, it's not practical to discuss such philosophical arguments. The word "theory" only refers to a specific explanation of a particular phenomenon. If a theory is "proven" beyond any doubt... it'll still be called a theory. The word postulate is often used to denote an unqualified assertion, as is hypothesis which you might be familiar with from elementary school science fairs.

Neo-Darwinist theories (combining Mendelian theories of inheritance with Darwin's theory of "natural selection", and a touch of philosophy and game theory) can explain absolutely any phenomenon in living things. I can make this assertion confidently, and if there is any "faith" in such a view, it's that the scientific method (which evolution is built on) cannot fail, given the laws of the universe as we know them. Should it turn out that some major revolution in quantum theory totally demolishes, say, the linear nature of time in our universe, then the scientific method may be called into question. So, if you want to claim any specific example (a highly tempting target, considering that Darwin himself wrote that an example inexplicable by Darwinism would cause his theory to "absolutely break down"; nearly 150 years later the challenge remains unconquered) you must be making a claim that science as we use it is wrong.

99% of the time, any problems posed for neo-Darwinism are merely construed out of a total misunderstanding of basic evolutionary principles. The 1% that are intelligent questions are, more often than not, still misunderstandings of some highly complex principles. The vanishingly small remainder tend to be inexplicable by any means at all, and we can be confident that proper application of scientific methods will, in time, solve those problems.

I'll reiterate that this thread is not a place for religious types to prove just how ignorant of evolutionary theory they are, despite claims of credentials that I really have to laugh at. If you have an irresistable urge to post here with an alternate explanation, make a salient, intelligent point, with credible sources that I can read (books > internet articles!) and we can keep the discussion going. Otherwise, keep it within the bounds of the topic.

As I said before, I want to hear some good sources on the subject, particularly in opposition to gene-selectionist viewpoints. They can be pretty technical; I can slog through all but the most erudite of textbooks if the subject interests me, and this one certainly does.
__________________
One of the wonders of the world is going down
It's going down I know
It's one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough


Attachment 181
AresProphet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004, 10:19 PM   #30
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
Trech, there is in fact a debate between creationism and evolution
Oh I know there is debate. This thread is evidence of that. You wont get any argument from me there.

And evolution has a lot to do with biogenesis, because not only do evolutionary principles apply to living things as we know them. You can use evolutionary theories to develop "self-coded" software (in principle; it's too complex yet). You can apply evolutionary theories to economics, culture. Hell, evolution can even explain the origin of religion and God! The fact that it doesn't come up with the answer the fundamentalists desperately want to hear doesn't make the explanation wrong, but rather the expectation.
I agree with you. Evolution can describe all sorts of things. It cannot, however, describe the origin of life. Life either was created or it spawned into existence (biogenesis). The theory simply describes how life morphs from one form to another. It does not describe How life began. Related to biogenesis vs creation? Yes. But mutually exclusive.

Gravity is a "theory"
Gravity was a law when I studied physics. I dunno if they switched since 10 years ago.

The point stands. Biogenesis could have occured without evolution and likewise creation could have occured WITH evolution. This being the case it is pointless to debate two theories that explain two different systems.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 05:14 PM   #31
AresProphet
Priest of Hiroshima
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,932
Send a message via MSN to AresProphet
I agree with you. Evolution can describe all sorts of things. It cannot, however, describe the origin of life. Life either was created or it spawned into existence (biogenesis). The theory simply describes how life morphs from one form to another. It does not describe How life began. Related to biogenesis vs creation? Yes. But mutually exclusive.
Allow me to explain why you are incorrect.

First of all, you are creating an unnecessary distinction between "life" and nonlife. As I demonstrated, at a very small level, on the order of the DNA molecule, there is no such distinction. There is no mysterious essence, extra ingredient, or supernatural organ that suddenly makes something alive. Life is merely a collection of nonliving things that manage to manipulate their environment.

At the most basic level, we are nothing more than a complex series of chemical reactions. While there is certainly a distinct difference between life and non-life today, several billion years ago that distinction was nearly invisible. Evolutionary theory can and does explain the origins of life, through the evolution of inorganic things.

A biologist (or was it geneticist) by the name of Cairnsmith developed an "alternate" hypothesis to evolution. Instead of relying on carbon-based organic molecules evolving in the oceans, he designed a theory of evolving clays, silicates and other "inorganic" materials that follow evolutionary principles. Of course, the designation of "organic" to life as we know it is in hindsight, much like the designation of "ancestor, but that's beside the point. The entire idea is that anything, alive or not, follows evolutionary laws.

Gravity was a law when I studied physics. I dunno if they switched since 10 years ago.
Yes and no. On a large scale, interactions between atoms and anything bigger, we can assert confidently that gravity applies without exception. However, on very small quantum levels gravity, as most theories, runs into problems. I'm not very well rehearsed in the subject, unfortunately, so I can't explain the specifics.

Evolution works the same way but in reverse. On the very small, basic level, evolution is a law. Things that won't survive die off, leaving things that will survive to, well, survive. Any idiot can understand that the "fittest" survive (although the designation of "fit" and "fitness" have to be applied carefully). However, when you get to a large level, on the order of species and even culture, evolution is a debatable theory.

The point stands. Biogenesis could have occured without evolution and likewise creation could have occured WITH evolution. This being the case it is pointless to debate two theories that explain two different systems.
First, creationism relies on a very large set of assumptions with no scientific evidence and no experimental potential whatsoever. Furthermore it explains everytthing with a "just because" answer. Everything is just because something that already is made it that way. It explains nothing whatsoever, merely observes that things exist as we know them and ceases to ask further questions. This is not a theory; it's not even remotely science, and it ignores basic common sense.

Second, if we can explain everything through evolution, and you want to claim the existence of God anyway, nothing stops you. But what is the point of God then, if a purely secular explanation can account for anything? God becomes redundant, and ultimately unnecessary. In fact, if that were the case the very "omnipotence" of God would become "nonpotence", because with or without God we would notice no difference in the universe.

Care to tell me what religion is willing to worship a God without any influence whatsoever in the universe?
__________________
One of the wonders of the world is going down
It's going down I know
It's one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough


Attachment 181
AresProphet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 07:14 PM   #32
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
First of all, you are creating an unnecessary distinction between "life" and nonlife.
The debate is about evolution of humans... life. I don't care how scientifically you break down a human being into their base molecules, that is not life. You know it isn't. Lets stick to the subject.

Yes and no. On a large scale, interactions between atoms and anything bigger, we can assert confidently that gravity applies without exception. However, on very small quantum levels gravity, as most theories, runs into problems.
Of course it does, that's where quantum theory takes over. See how that works. Evolution works until it tries to describe the origin of life, then there is where you need another theory ie creation or biogenesis.

First, creationism relies on a very large set of assumptions with no scientific evidence and no experimental potential whatsoever. Furthermore it explains everytthing with a "just because" answer. Everything is just because something that already is made it that way. It explains nothing whatsoever, merely observes that things exist as we know them and ceases to ask further questions. This is not a theory; it's not even remotely science, and it ignores basic common sense.

Second, if we can explain everything through evolution, and you want to claim the existence of God anyway, nothing stops you. But what is the point of God then, if a purely secular explanation can account for anything? God becomes redundant, and ultimately unnecessary. In fact, if that were the case the very "omnipotence" of God would become "nonpotence", because with or without God we would notice no difference in the universe.

Care to tell me what religion is willing to worship a God without any influence whatsoever in the universe?
I knew you were going to try to turn this into a religious debate. I'm sorry, I won't participate. My point still stands though The theories are related yet still mutually exclusive.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 07:24 PM   #33
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by Trech
The debate is about evolution of humans... life. I don't care how scientifically you break down a human being into their base molecules, that is not life. You know it isn't. Lets stick to the subject.
I would like to jump in on this point. What do you mean by "life", Trech? The way I see it a chain of events that has persistence is life. In fact, some would say that fire is a living thing because of the chain of events that occurs and it persists.

Ok... back to you and Ares.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 07:48 PM   #34
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
Originally Posted by Lurikeen
I would like to jump in on this point. What do you mean by "life", Trech? The way I see it a chain of events that has persistence is life. In fact, some would say that fire is a living thing because of the chain of events that occurs and it persists.

Ok... back to you and Ares.
I mean the scientifically accepted definition of life as defined by cell theory. You will have to forgive me however because its been many years since I had to study cell theory and I don't remember each point that defines life.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:04 PM   #35
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Cell Theory (Basically):

The Cell Theory:
  1. All living things are made of cells.
  2. Cells are the basic units of life.
  3. Cells come only from other cells.

On the surface, cell theory assumes what "life" entails and specifically for cells. I didn't ask what the word "life" means with regard to living cells. My question was what you think "life" means in general and I provided an example with fire. So the question still stands.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:24 PM   #36
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Cell Theory (Basically):

The Cell Theory:
  1. All living things are made of cells.
  2. Cells are the basic units of life.
  3. Cells come only from other cells.

On the surface, cell theory assumes what "life" entails and specifically for cells. I didn't ask what the word "life" means with regard to living cells. My question was what you think "life" means in general and I provided an example with fire. So the question still stands.
What do I think the meaning of life is? Hell i dont know. Ask a zen master.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:34 PM   #37
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by Trech
What do I think the meaning of life is? Hell i dont know. Ask a zen master.
OK, that is not the question I was asking. Let me rephrase my question, since my original was ambiguous.

What do you think counts as "life" and given that how would you define a life (e.g. a living thing)?
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:43 PM   #38
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
Originally Posted by Lurikeen
OK, that is not the question I was asking. Let me rephrase my question, since my original was ambiguous.

What do you think counts as "life" and given that how would you define a life (e.g. a living thing)?
Cell theory describes the criteria. I could look it up but im lazy. The basics if I remember correctly are locomotion, reproduction, consumption, growth and response to stimuli.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:51 PM   #39
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by Trech
Cell theory describes the criteria. I could look it up but im lazy. The basics if I remember correctly are locomotion, reproduction, consumption, growth and response to stimuli.
BINGO!

That is why fire (or other chemical reactions) can be considered as having life.

Fire moves (locomotion), reproduces (spreads), consumes, grows, and responds to humidity and temperature.

That is a macro explanation for what Ares was explaining. At a DNA level there are no such distinctions as to what happens on a macro level and the micro level. In other words, the criteria for what counts as life changes. It is much like the large differences between physics in general and quantum physics. The rules change at the micro level and are hardly recognizable at a macro level. Yet, the rules are there and discernable.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 08:56 PM   #40
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
I think if you told someone more well versed in biology that fire was life they would probably have something to say to you. Fire grows through consumption, it does not reproduce and therefore does not meet the definition. And while I concede it responds to stimuli, the definition indicates it responds to stimuli because it has some sort of nervous system or the like ie it can react to the external stimuli as a decision, not as a law of physics.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil

Last edited by Trech; 06-02-2004 at 09:01 PM.
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 09:02 PM   #41
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Trech, but it does "reproduce". You ever see fire "jump"? It creates a new flame beyond itself. That is reproduction. In fact, that is what cellular division is.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 09:04 PM   #42
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
No its the same fire.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 09:04 PM   #43
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by Trech
No its the same fire.
No. It's not. Just ask those who have had to fight multiple fires at the same time.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 09:08 PM   #44
Trech
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,394
Send a message via MSN to Trech
Originally Posted by Lurikeen
No. It's not. Just ask those who have had to fight multiple fires at the same time.
Well, since Im no biologist, indeed its been many years since my biology courses, then theres no point in continuing to argue because you obviously think fire meets the criteria of life even though it can't reproduce.
__________________
Trech Maggotface
Eye of The Faceless
Team Evil
Trech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 09:13 PM   #45
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
All right, Trech. I wasn't actually trying to stifle debate. I was actually pressing you on your definition for life and defending a premise raised by Ares.

You see, it is certaily plausible that life amounts to a collection of things that can manipulate other things around it.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2004, 05:25 PM   #46
AresProphet
Priest of Hiroshima
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,932
Send a message via MSN to AresProphet
Bleh, I'm so behind on checking MBs lately.

Fire is not life because it does not reproduce, Lurikeen. It grows, and when fire "jumps" that just means it skips one section of flammable material and hits another (wind usually is the cause, jumping fire from one side of a road to the other, for example). There is no reproduction, asexual, sexual, or otherwise, in the process of combustion.

This is how the very earliest molecules floating around in the "primordial soup" existed. They grew, and consumed, but ultimately they died out after running out of food molecules. I wouldn't call them life, even though they certainly could have acted like it.

It would be like calling clouds "alive". Certainly they grow, they break up into smaller clouds and congolmerate into larger ones. They absorb ambient water vapor, or evaporate it. They respond to temperature changes, wind shifts. But they do not have any form of reproduction. Clouds don't create daughter cliuds, with inherited characteristics.

The key criteria is reproduction. As soon as one molecule by chance was able to reproduce itself with any measure of copying fidelity, that became life. But that's all that separated it from everything else out there, a simple random chance mutation that was nearly inevitable, given the sheer number of chances for the mutation to occur, and the relatively simple nature of the mutation itself (a simple positive-negative template, like RNA, is very simple).

But this is simply a definition in hindsight. Defining life after the fact is sort of cheap; how would you define life if it didn't previously exist? Besides the paradoxical nature of evne asking the question, it demonstrates all we can do is say, with hindsight, what is and isn't alive. Self-reproduction is the primary quality.

However, the reproduction itself has several criteria. It must be reasonably accurate, with a high copying fidelity. Perfect clones are the absolute ideal of evolved reproduction, since it means 100% of genes will be passed on with zero mutation (if evolution can be said to have a "goal", that would be it). Also, the reproduction must occur with sufficient frequency, so that there will never be fewer total daughter replicators than parent replicators. Otherwise, such an organism will go extinct. Finally, the life itself must have longevity such that it can reproduce itself.

These are actually somewhat complicated criteria. The very first replicator, the most distant ancestor of all life on the planet, didn't have to be much of anything except self-reproducing. It had nearly zero competition after the first generation, because everything else merely died out after one "life cycle". This does assume the first reproduction was of reasonable accuracy, enough that any daughter replicators would have a decent chance of survival, but that isn't terribly hard to imagine. After all, it took about a billion years to get it right the very first time.

All I can do is keep stressing that the fundamental difference between "life" and "non-life" is simply a false assumption. "Biogenesis" didn't require any special ingredient, any divine intervention, or anything else, other than the natural selection that is a universal law. And though the chances of such a replicator forming by random collisions are not particularly high, with a billion years to work on the problem I would be more shocked if we discover natural selection couldn't have created the first self-reproducing replicator.
__________________
One of the wonders of the world is going down
It's going down I know
It's one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough


Attachment 181
AresProphet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2004, 06:44 PM   #47
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by AresProphet
Fire is not life because it does not reproduce, Lurikeen. It grows, and when fire "jumps" that just means it skips one section of flammable material and hits another (wind usually is the cause, jumping fire from one side of a road to the other, for example). There is no reproduction, asexual, sexual, or otherwise, in the process of combustion.
You're thinking from a biological perspective. I used fire as just one example outside that perspective. I could have used other examples from the life cycle of the universe, such as the creation of stars and their invevitable destruction.

However, yes, you are correct from how we view biological life at a cellular level. When we move away from a cellular level we have a hard time with what the word "life" means. Surely, a person incapable of reproduction isn't dead, for example.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2004, 07:06 PM   #48
kanibaal
korpse
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 796
Originally Posted by bumbleroot
Corinthians I 15:45-49

Man came first. Man with spirit (image of God or created man) came second.
That is not saying that at all Bumbler but I see how one could assume that.
kanibaal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2004, 12:19 PM   #49
AresProphet
Priest of Hiroshima
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,932
Send a message via MSN to AresProphet
Originally Posted by Lurikeen
You're thinking from a biological perspective. I used fire as just one example outside that perspective. I could have used other examples from the life cycle of the universe, such as the creation of stars and their invevitable destruction.
Considering that biology is the "science of life", I think it would be assumed the biological definition fits best....

You have a point though. What sort of things in the universe can we consider alive, that don't rely on cellular, carbon-based life? There is no reason whatsoever that a form of life could not evolve on, say, Europa, that is ammonia-based (for example) and thrives in temperatures around 150 Kelvin.

Life all over the universe, assuming we are not the only ones to evolve (a far more unlikely chance than our evolution in the first place!), will follow evolutionary laws.

I'm sure you can understand why my primary crtieria for "lifeness" is self-replication. Unless we can find a true life cycle with reproduction of some sort and daughter-parent relationships, we can't call something alive. We can call it a complex cheimcal reaction, with reactants and products, but that's about it. True, a philosophical perspective doesn't find too much distinction between the life cycle of stars and the life cycle of bacteria. Stars cannot, however, be subject to true natural selection. They can be subject to a sieve, and so only stars that, well, work like star is suposed to, exist. The difference between a star and a non-star is not some inclusive fitness, but rather a sieve that prevents non-stars from existing, because they simply aren't stars. That's a true tautology, and gets us nowhere unless you realize it's simply another way of looking at things.

Self-replication is the only way something can be subject to natural selection, and that to me is sufficient qualification to call something alive.
__________________
One of the wonders of the world is going down
It's going down I know
It's one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough


Attachment 181
AresProphet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2004, 01:16 PM   #50
Lurikeen
Freaky
 
Lurikeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,873
Originally Posted by AresProphet
Self-replication is the only way something can be subject to natural selection, and that to me is sufficient qualification to call something alive.
I think you caught a glimpse of my point which is more philosophical. I think it has to be kept in mind, though, that by restricting the meaning of the word "life" to an empircal definition (which is perfectly right if we are talking about organisms known to us through observation) we might not have a pliable definition for other entities that may exist beyond the scope of our experience. You provide a good exmple of my point with your "ammonia-based" life form.

One point for clarification is that evolutionary laws actually refer to conditions on our planet that gave rise to organisms. The idea is that evolution, as we know it, occurs in a closed system. We can extrapolate a model of evolution for other planets based upon what occurs in our system, but such a model is not a universal law. In other words, we can expect that evolution occurs on other planets similarily as it does on earth. At least that is my understanding of evolution.

If that is the case, then we may find one day, when travelling through the solar system, that their exist entities so foreign to our experience that we wouldn't recognise them as "living" if we simply stuck to our rather earthcentric view of what counts as a living thing.

Any way, this is far removed from your original posting, so I will leave off here.

BTW, a good book to read, which touches on some of my points above is Hilary Puttnam's "Reason, Truth, and History". He doesn't deal directly with the topic of evolution in that book, but he does drive home important points concerning the language of science and reference. Mainly, he rejects the idea that science provides the only true description of reality.
__________________
"All I said was... that bit of halibut is good enough for Jehovah." óMonty Python's "Life of Brian"
Lurikeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.